VEGA News Item

Making Lunch Boxes Meat ā€˜nā€™ Dairy Free - 18/08/2009

Healthy Options, Environmentally and Socially Sound

1. “If children have processed meat in their lunch every day, then over a school year they will be eating quite a lot of it.  It is better if children learn to view processed meat as an occasional treat, if it is eaten at all,” states Marni Craze, children’ education manager of the World Cancer Research Fund, a charity (WCRF).  He was pronouncing an extension of earlier reports that said that parents should not put ham or salami in their children’s packed lunches because processed meat increases the risk of developing cancer.  Here’s a good opportunity to exercise efforts at cutting down on (meat and dairy) M‘n’D↓ as part of the Veggy Swing.

2. The Fund’s experts in the disease, issuing their warning, advise families instead to use poultry, fish, low-fat cheese, hummus, or small amounts of lean meat as sandwich fillings when making up school lunchboxes.  “Children should avoid eating processed meat altogether because unhealthy habits acquired while young can have serious consequences later,” the experts say.  “Including sandwich fillers such as ham and salami could mean children get into habits that increase their risk of developing cancer later in life.  It makes sense for children to adopt a healthy eating adult eating pattern from the age of 5.  WCRF advises it is best to avoid processed meat, as well as many of the habits we develop in children last into adulthood.”

3. According to the WCRF, “if everyone ate no more than 70g of processed meat – the equivalent of 3 rashers of bacon a week – about 3,700 fewer people in Britain would be diagnosed with bowel cancer.”  In 2007 the charity adduced “convincing scientific evidence that consumption of processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer, although research had only studied its impact on adults, children should need it to, said the WCRF.”  The charity advises parents further to avoid giving their children high-fat or high-calorie foods in their packed lunch, such as sugary drinks, because they could help making them overweight.  Excess weight is increasingly viewed by scientists as a major contributory factor to cancer after smoking.
4. John Bullock, who represents British pigmeat producers (yes, it’s true) counters with the assertion that “the amounts of these products in children’s lunchboxes will be very small”; however, they can be heavily reduced or cut out altogether by recourse to our Portfolio of Eating Plans, which offer nutritionally-assessed choices based on fundamental environmental factors and the health of all animals, great and small, old and young.

5. In a separate study, published on 17th August 2009, experts at Cancer Research describe widespread ignorance about the symptoms of cancer, which is contributing to people dying of the disease.  One in 7 people in Britain (14%) could not name a single sign of cancer and only small numbers of people named moles (16%), weight loss of men (16%) and of women (22%), skin problems (25%), and bowel, urinary, or “toilet difficulties” (19%), according to Cancer Research’s findings.  In a poll of 3947 people 54% identified a lump as being a possible indicator of cancer.

6. Sarah Hiom, of Cancer Research, a charity, said that up to 5000 cancer deaths a year could be avoided if cancers were diagnosed earlier. Cancer Research is working with the Department of Health on a major project to improve people’s chances of surviving cancer through earlier diagnosis, by increasing public awareness of signs and symptoms of the disease.  “We’re not expecting people to be able to recall every symptom, but being generally aware of changes that could be a sign of cancer could make a crucial difference for people who develop disease,” said Sarah Hiom.







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