Latinas: Eating One Strip of Bacon a Day Can Double Cancer Risk


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Latinas who eat more processed meat (about a strip of bacon a day) had almost double the risk of breast cancer than Latinas who ate little or no meats, according to a new study, the Sacramento Bee reports.

bigstock_Selection_of_cold_cuts_8338177The study, led by the University of Southern California (USC) and one of the few to explore Latinas’ meat consumption, found that Latinas who consumed daily more than 20 mg of processed meats, like sausage, bacon, and lunch meat, were 42% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than Latinas who consumed less.

The researchers didn’t find a similar difference among white women who ate more processed meat.

Addressing causes for the higher cancer risk among Latinas was not part of the study. The authors and researchers were solely focused on exploring whether eating processed meats earlier in life affects cancer risk, suggesting that Latinas eat more of those types of foods during adolescence.

This study also suggests that race, ethnicity, genetics, and culture are among the factors that determine cancer risks.

In October 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that processed meats were carcinogens or cancer-causing agents.

“In light of the WHO report, this discovery could be a wake-up call about the negative health effects associated with consuming processed meat such as bacon, beef jerky and lunch meats,” said Mariana Stern, senior author and director of graduate programs in molecular epidemiology at USC’s Keck School of Medicine., told the Sacramento Bee.

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