Don’t Let Hot Dogs Strike You Out This Baseball Season

Posted on by Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

hot-dogThis past Thursday, the Major League Baseball teams celebrated Opening Day – kicking off a season of increased colorectal cancer risk for baseball fans. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, baseball fans are expected to eat more than 19 million hot dogs during the 2018 season. But even eating just one hot dog a day can increase the risk of colorectal cancer, which kills more than 50,000 Americans per year. In 2015, the World Health Organization released a report declaring hot dogs and other processed meats “carcinogenic to humans.” Studies show that consuming one daily 50-gram serving of processed meat – about the size of a typical hot dog – increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Unfortunately, some stadiums have taken baseball’s deadly processed meat addiction to a new extreme this year. “Extreme” hot dogs recently debuted at several MLB stadiums, including the Triple Play Dog at Coors Field in Denver – a hot dog topped with pulled pork, bacon bits and purple slaw. The Milwaukee Brewers are offering a Polish Sausage Pierogi, while the Kansas City Royals are selling a Smoked Barbecue Brisket Taco. Fortunately, other teams are stepping up to the plate and offering healthier options. The Philadelphia Phillies recently unveiled a new Vegan Cauliflower Cheesesteak, and the Toronto Blue Jays have added Vegan Nachos to their food offerings. So, when you are soaking in the sun and enjoying America’s pastime, choose the Vegan Un-Tuna Salad or Greens and Grains Salad at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, not the Pulled Pork Pierogi Hoagie. Revel in the Vegan Nacho Grande with Beyond Meat crumbles at Globe Life Park in Arlington, and say no to the Triple B – a sandwich made with bacon, brisket and bologna. As some teams begin to offer healthful, plant-based options, it’s time for the rest of Major League Baseball to start incorporating our country’s health into our national pastime – and to strike out processed meat for good. Photo from here, with thanks.