A huge billboard near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway warns consuming hot dogs could damage health.
A huge billboard near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway warns consuming hot dogs could damage health. pcrm.org

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a health group that promotes preventive medicine and conducts clinical research, released a provocative warning message through a huge billboard near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The striking ad reads: “Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health,” and an image of hot dogs sticking out of a cigarette pack emblazoned with the skull and crossbones is included.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, daily consumption of 50-gram serving of processed meat, which is the size of one hot dog, increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent.

It may be bad news for frankfurter fans, but the Cancer Project reports that the warning is based on a comprehensive report unveiled late last year by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. The report was compiled after a five-year studies involved with nine independent teams of scientists from around the world, hundreds of peer reviewers, and 21 international experts.

Last year, at the Indianapolis 500 races, concession stands at the speedway served more than 1.1 million hot dogs, according to PCRM. However, this year the commercial is sponsored by the Cancer Project of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

“A hot dog a day could send you to an early grave,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Processed meats like hot dogs can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer. Like cigarettes, hot dogs should come with a warning label that helps racing fans and other consumers understand the health risk.”

A review in the journal Diabetologia found that those who regularly eat processed meats increase their risk for diabetes by 41 percent, according to the Cancer Project.

Considering about 143,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 53,000 die of it every year, Americans should seriously limit the intake of processed meats such as hot dogs, pepperoni, Deli meats, etc.