Patients strongly favor banning bacon in hospitals, according to new survey

November 18, 2020

WASHINGTON--A majority of hospitalized patients favor eliminating processed meats--including bacon, deli meat, and sausage--from hospital menus to reduce cancer risk, according to a new survey published in the Journal of Hospital Management and Health Policy.

Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine surveyed a total of 200 patients in two Washington, D.C., hospitals and found that: The World Health Organization has determined that processed meat is a major contributor to colorectal cancer, classifying it as "carcinogenic to humans." A 50-gram serving a day--one hot dog or two strips of bacon--increases colorectal cancer risk by 18%. Processed meat is also linked to stomach, pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancers, along with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

In 2017, the American Medical Association passed a resolution urging hospitals to eliminate processed meat to promote a healthy food environment.

"Health experts have called on hospitals to eliminate processed meat from their menus to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease," says Neal Barnard, MD, study author and president of the Physicians Committee. "Now it's clear that patients overwhelmingly agree that they'd like to see healthy food on their hospital trays."

In 2019, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced a groundbreaking bill that would require hospitals in the district to improve the nutritional quality of their menus by eliminating processed meat such as bacon and hot dogs, making plant-based options available, and reducing sugar-sweetened beverages. If passed, The Healthy Hospitals Amendment Act would become the first bill in the United States to require the removal of processed meat from health care facilities.

"It's not uncommon for patients to wake up from surgery to be greeted with bacon and sausage--the very foods that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place," adds Dr. Barnard. "It's time to create a healthier food environment."

D.C. is projected to have 131,194 cases of heart disease in 2030, nearly four times the number in 2010. Recent government statistics show that type 2 diabetes takes an extraordinarily high toll in Wards 7 and 8, where United Medical Center (UMC), one of the surveyed hospitals, is located. Statistics also show disproportionate colorectal cancer incidence in these same wards.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to