How Hot Dogs Could Kill You

By Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Special for  USDR

Hard-hitting billboards and other advertisements are urging children’s hospitals in six cities to protect patients from #HazardousHotDogs. Hot dogs should not be served to patients because they are the  No. 1 choking risk for children and are linked to high risk of colon cancer says the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors. The six targeted hospitals are in the colon cancer corridor, a cluster of nine states with high death rates from colorectal  cancer.

The Physicians Committee is also releasing a new report finding that 72 percent of surveyed children’s hospitals nationwide serve cancer-causing hot dogs to patients. The World Health Organization warns that processed meats, including hot dogs, are “carcinogenic to humans” and there is no amount safe for consumption. According to a recent study published in JAMA Surgery, colon cancer is increasing in young people (ages 20 to 34  years).

In strongly worded letters, the Physicians Committee is urging hospital CEOs to remove hot dogs from patient menus in time for March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness  Month.

“Children’s hospitals can become leaders in preventing diet-related diseases by increasing the offerings of healthful, plant-based options that are popular with patients—like veggie pasta and fruit smoothies,” says Karen Smith, R.D., senior dietitian for the Physicians  Committee.

Billboard advertisements have gone up near the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, Miss. The billboards are 10 feet tall and 22 feet  wide.

The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Nashville are targeted with bus shelter ads that are 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. In addition, the 60 buses in Nashville’s fleet all display bus interior advertisements. In Little Rock, the 44 available buses display interior advertisements highlighting #HazardousHotDogs at  Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The #HazardousHotDogs advertisements will remain posted until March 5,  2017.

The advertisements posted near hospitals that serve hot dogs feature a photograph of a girl holding a hot dog with the words “Choking Risk Now, Cancer Risk Later?” Viewers are urged to “Ask your local hospital to protect patients from #HazardousHotDogs!”

The states in the colon cancer corridor with high rates of fatalities are Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Hot dogs serve as an indicator of a disease-promoting food  environment.

At least three children’s hospitals located in the colon cancer corridor already exclude hot dogs from patient menus. These hospitals, including West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, will not be targeted with  advertisements.

Patients and health care providers are often concerned that healthful foods are more expensive, but a recent study shows that healthful, disease-fighting food can be inexpensive. Published in Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, the study finds that omnivores can save $750 a year by simply switching to a plant-based  diet.

For a copy of the billboard artwork, or an interview with Karen Smith, R.D., journalists please contact Jeanne McVey at 202-527-7316 or

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization of 12, 000 physicians who promote  preventive medicine, conduct clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in  research.

SOURCE Physicians Committee for Responsible  Medicine

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.