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The Full English Breakfast Is Under Threat From Health Conscious Youngsters

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In a recent poll, the breakfast-eating habits of over 2,000 people in the UK were surveyed. It was found that more than a quarter of youngsters in the age group of 18-24 prefer eating healthier choices as opposed to sausages, bacon, ham and other kinds of processed meat. The very constituents of a full English breakfast.

This is in lieu of the health concerns and warning issued by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in October 2015, linking the consumption of processed meat to cancer.

When this warning was issued, Dr Kurt Straif, head of the IARC monographs program, explained that the risk of developing colorectal cancer from eating processed meat was at a minimum for any individual.

However, he further stressed that this risk does increase and can be correlated with the amount of meat consumed. Also, given that a large number of people consume processed meat globally, the impact on cancer becomes a public health concern.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier claimed that processed meat such as bacon, ham, salami, sausages and so forth, carries the potentiality of causing cancer and therefore been labeled as carcinogenic.

Apparently, a mere 50g of processed meat consumed in a day, equivalent to less than two slices of bacon or ham, consequently increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. 

Sales of bacon fell by 4 percent since the issue of this WHO report.

"There is a link between packaged meats like bacon which are cured and wrapped and bowel cancer which is why we ask people to avoid and reduce their consumption when possible," said Ursula Philpot, dietitian and senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University.

"We wouldn't tell people to never eat bacon or sausages but to look at their consumption. If they're eating it three or four times a week it might be worth reducing your intake but if it's once a fortnight then it's nothing to worry about," she added.

The survey also revealed that nearly a quarter of participants have breakfast containing eggs and prefer scrambled eggs over fried eggs. Cereal continues to reign as the most common breakfast followed by toast and porridge.

The statement from the IARC has been published as an article in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

Photo: Phil Campbell | Flickr

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