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Hot Dogs Get Sent to the Dog House

Do you enjoy the occasional weenie, perhaps at a ballgame or a backyard barbeque? If the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicin e (PCRM) has its way, you might make the switch to sushi sooner than you might have thought. The Washington, D.C. group, which promotes preventive medicine and a vegan diet, unveiled a billboard Monday near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with an urgent advisory: "Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health."

If the admonishment doesn't reach you, the graphic -- a picture of hot dogs in a cigarette pack inscribed with skull and crossbones – might catch your attention. The public service announcement aims to increase awareness of a link between colorectal cancer and hot dogs.

Hot dogs, like cigarettes, said Susan Levin, the committee's nutrition education director, should come with a "warning label that helps racing fans and other consumers understand the health risk."

According to 2007 reports by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research , there is a convincing link between colorectal cancer and processed meat. One 50-gram serving of processed meat -- approximately the amount in one hot dog -- a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by an average of 21 percent, the study found.

Meatless Monday is beginning to look a lot more appealing.

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