The Real Food Channel

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Processed meats and cancer

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Are hot dogs really worth it?

A number of studies have linked the consumption of hot dogs to risk of childhood cancer.

One study found that children eating more than 12 hot dogs per month have nine times the normal risk of developing childhood leukemia. Another found found an association between childhood brain tumors and mothers who ate hot dogs during pregnancy.

Nitrites occur naturally in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. Sodium nitrites are used as a preservative and coloring agent in processed foods. During the curing process or when processed meats are charred or overcooked, sodium nitrites combine with amines to form nitrosamine compounds. These are known carcinogens.

Related article: Myth or Fact: Hot Dogs Cause Cancer