Hot Study on Hot Dogs & Healthy Eating Habits

Recently, several news reports highlighted a study which among other things claimed that each hot dog one ingests could costs a person 36 minutes off their lifespan.

Here’s a link to the original study: Small targeted dietary changes can yield substantial gains for human health and the environment (most of article is behind a pay wall)

Here’s a link to the USAToday Coverage: A hot dog shaves 36 minutes off life, study says. Nathan’s champion Joey Chestnut isn’t worried.

An excerpt:

Olivier Jolliet, one of the lead researchers on the study, published in the journal Nature Food, told USA TODAY that 5,800 foods were evaluated and then ranked based on their nutritional disease burden as well as their impact on the environment. Hot dogs were considered the most unhealthy...

The study found that substituting 10% of daily caloric intake from beef and processed meats for a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and select seafood could reduce your dietary carbon footprint by one-third and allow people to gain 48 minutes of healthy life per day...

Regardless of moderation, hot dogs are not exactly healthy. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) reported ham, hot dogs and other processed meats may contribute to colorectal cancer. Hot dogs also are high in saturated fat and sodium. Just one hot dog can contain over a quarter of your day’s sodium allowance and over 14 grams of fat...while processed meats like hot dogs can inherently be unhealthy, it’s wrong to zero in on just hot dogs as the study does in highlighting the food. 

Coverage from the University of Michigan: Small Changes in Diet Could Help You Live Healthier, More Sustainably

An excerpt:

Researchers classified foods into three color zones: green, yellow and red, based on their combined nutritional and environmental performances, much like a traffic light. The green zone represents foods that are recommended to increase in one’s diet and contains foods that are both nutritionally beneficial and have low environmental impacts. Foods in this zone are predominantly nuts, fruits, field-grown vegetables, legumes, whole grains and some seafood.

Based on their findings, the researchers suggest:

  • Decreasing foods with the most negative health and environmental impacts including high processed meat, beef, shrimp, followed by pork, lamb and greenhouse-grown vegetables.
  • Increasing the most nutritionally beneficial foods, including field-grown fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and low-environmental impact seafood.

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