“Eating processed meat such as ham and sausages increases the risk of cancer”. We could read such headlines end of last year when the WHO announced that processed meat is not that healthy. Journalists didn’t understand the difficult information and that gave confusing and wrong information. The press release of the WHO was indeed too difficult and not straight forward. It is not always how we want it to be, because it can cause a lot of confusion.
The lecture of Professor Kampman and science journalist Van Maanen 19 October at Wageningen University explained how media and scientist work. Professor Kok was the chairman of the evening.
Few science journalists
Unfortunately there are only a handful science journalists. Not every newspaper or television program hires this person, who can explain difficult scientific information correctly. The news is not checked by such a person so this is why scientific results is not always communicated in the right way. On the other hand, scientists have to write clear press releases so that consumers can understand it and are able to compare it to their way of living.
Meat and Cancer Facts You Have to Know
Colon cancer is a huge problem. In the Netherlands 1 of 3 have this kind of cancer. Red meat intake has been linked to increased numbers of colon cancer.
Since 2007 the message has not been changed: Don’t eat more than 500 gram meat per week (on your plate, which is 750 gram unprepared meat). Don’t eat processed meat.
If you eat more than 50 grams processed meat, 1 of 20 people will get colon cancer. The evidence is very strong. As strong as the evidence for smoking a cigarette, however, the effect is not as bad as smoking a cigarette. So, headlines that compared eating processed meat with smoking cigarette didn’t inform us correctly. Even the news on television gave us wrong information: they told us that the risk became 20 times bigger, eating processed meat. This is indeed as strong as the effect of smoking cigarettes.
If you eat ham on your bread it is about 15 grams. It doesn’t come near that 50 gram, but if you eat a whole or half a sausage you will cross this limit easily.
When you start to eat healthy, with a diet of vegetables, fruit and wholewheat products and some meat, fish and poultry you can prevent cancer by 40%. It is something you can do yourself by changing your eating habits. If you love your healthy life, also in the long run, you should take care of what you eat now!