Bacon could give you cancer

No more sarnies to save you from a hangover.


Meat lovers, look away now. The latest victim of the World Health Organisation’s campaign to prove everything you love is quietly killing you has been announced.

A report, released today from the WHO, has listed bacon and other processed meats as dangerously carcinogenic. In other words, it can give you cancer.

Consuming just 50 grams of salty goodness per day – that’s less than two slices of bacon – is likely to increase the risk of bowel cancer by 18% over a lifetime, upping the number of Britons developing the cancer from roughly 6 to 7%.

The report puts processed meats up alongside the terrifying carcinogenic giants of tobacco, asbestos, arsenic and Jesticles. But don’t let the doom and gloom descend just yet: BBC News reports that, while a comparably small 34,000 deaths per year can be traced back to over-eating processed meats, one million can be attributed to smoking and 600,000 to binge drinking.

bacon crop

Professor Tim Key, from the University of Oxford and Cancer Research UK, said: “This decision doesn’t mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots you may want to think about cutting down.

“Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn’t going to do much harm – having a healthy diet is all about moderation.”

So don’t worry just yet – the odd fry up won’t do much to affect your chances of developing the disease.

While the link between cancer and red meat remains unproven but likely, the WHO stressed the health benefits of including it in a healthy diet, as it is high in proteins, iron and zinc.

When asked whether he would prefer to give up bacon or cigarettes, George, a Second Year Geographer, gave a dirty look and returned to eating his bacon sarnie.

@JoeFHoppe