Children Risk Cancer By Eating Salami and Ham

August 17, 2009 at 7:03 am | Posted in cancer | Leave a comment

Children Risk Cancer By Eating Salami and Ham, Warns Charity Bad habits ‘could lead to bowel disease in later life’ says World Cancer Research Fund Parents should not put ham or salami in their children’s packed lunches because processed meat increases the risk of developing cancer, experts in the disease are warning. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) wants families to instead use poultry, fish, low-fat cheese, hummus or small amounts of lean meat as sandwich fillings when making up school lunch boxes. Children should avoid eating processed meat altogether because unhealthy habits acquired while young can have serious consequences later, said the WCRF. “Including sandwich fillers such as ham and salami could mean children get into habits that increase their risk of developing cancer later in life,” the charity said. “It makes sense for children to adopt a healthy adult eating pattern from the age of five. WCRF advises it is best to avoid it [processed meat] as well as many of the habits we develop as children last into adulthood.” If everyone ate no more than 70g of processed meat – the equivalent of three rashers of bacon – a week, about 3,700 fewer people a year in Britain would be diagnosed with bowel cancer, according to the WCRF. In 2007 the charity there was convincing scientific evidence that consumption of processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer. Although research had only studied its impact on adults, children should avoid it too, said the WCRF. Marni Craze, the charity’s children’s education manager, said: “If children have processed meat in their lunch every day then over the course of a school year they will be eating quite a lot of it. It is better if children learn to view processed meat as an occasional treat if it is eaten at all.”

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