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A children’s hospital in Arkansas has removed cancer causing hot dogs from it’s menu recognising the serious health risks associated with eating them. Earlier this year, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) wrote to the CEO of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and also embarked on an advertising campaign urging the hospital to protect patients from #HazardousHotDogs. As the PCRM campaign highlighted hot dogs are the number 1 choking hazard for children, they are directly linked to higher rates of colon cancer and have been designated by the WHO as “carcinogenic to humans“. PCRM have been advising medical professionals and the general public for some time about the dangers of eating processed meat.
“Arkansas Children’s Hospital is becoming a leader in preventing diet-related diseases by providing tasty, plant-based options and removing hot dogs from patient menus,” said Lee Crosby, R.D., staff dietitian for the PCRM.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Arkansas is in the colon cancer corridor, a cluster of nine states with high death rates from colorectal cancer. As such these and other states are part of PCRM’s wider campaign to ‘Make Hospitals Healthy’. The campaign urges hospitals to create a healthy food for patients, visitors, and staff by banning processed meats, including hot dogs, and offering more disease-fighting plant-based meals. They also recommend to only have restaurants that offer only healthy low-fat, cholesterol-free food.
The American Medical Association (AMA) recently called on hospitals “…to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by (1) providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars, (2) eliminating processed meats from menus, and (3) providing and promoting healthful beverages.”
Many other hospitals are ditching hot dogs too, in March the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) also in the colon cancer corridor, announced it would remove hot dogs. Concerns from both patients and health care providers have been raised that plant based, healthy alternatives are more expensive but a recent study showed the opposite. Published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, the study found that omnivores can save $750 a year by simply switching to a plant-based diet.
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