It’s time to stop grilling: 7 Health risks of consuming hot dogs

The number of people eating hot dogs is alarmingly high. In the U.S. alone, a person consumes around 50 hot dogs every year, on average. Americans consume about seven billion hot dogs during peak hot dog season, which is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This means that 818 hot dogs are consumed every second.

Hot dogs sure taste good and are easy to prepare, but eating them poses significant risks to your health. For one, hot dogs are highly processed foods, which are known to contain high amounts of calories and harmful chemicals. Here are seven reasons why you should not eat (or quit eating) hot dogs:

  1. Eating hot dogs increases childhood obesity: Hot dogs are harmful to children’s health. Like other unhealthy foods, they increase the risk of childhood obesity. Hot dogs are loaded with saturated fat, which contributes to obesity. In addition, every year, hot dogs are involved in 17 percent of choking cases among children, which lead to 80 deaths yearly. Eating hot dogs also increases the risk of adult obesity.
  2. Eating hot dogs causes oxidative damage: Numerous animal and human studies show that eating red meat boosts the production of chemical compounds such as heme and its chemical byproduct called N-nitroso. These chemicals cause oxidative damage to intestinal tissue and contribute to the development of cancer. In addition, heating meat results in the release of heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs), which are also cancerous.
  3. Eating hot dogs causes cancer: Hot dogs are processed meats, and processed meats can cause cancer. Eating 50 g of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 21 percent, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Moreover, people who eat processed meats in larger amounts have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. (Related: Bacon, sausage, hot dogs and processed meats hike cancer risk by 67% due to chemical preservative, says nutritionist.)
  4. Eating hot dogs causes leukemia in children: Studies reveal that children who eat processed meats such as hot dogs are more likely to suffer from leukemia. A study published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control suggests that N-nitroso compounds in processed meats may be the cause of childhood leukemia.
  5. Eating hot dogs may increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes: Eating hot dogs can also increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In fact, a study published in the journal Metabolism reveals that eating processed meats, including hot dogs, is more likely to raise the risk of this condition than red meat.
  6. Eating hot dogs harms your heart: The high-fat content of hot dogs causes weight gain, which can then cause other health problems. Eating too many fatty foods increases cholesterol levels and promotes plaque buildup in the arteries, which can lead to blockages and cardiovascular problems. Chemicals in hot dogs also cause oxidative stress in the body, which also contributes to the development of heart problems.
  7. Eating hot dogs harms pregnant women: Eating hot dogs is highly discouraged for pregnant women. Hot dogs contain cured meat, which has listeria monocytogenes – bacteria that cause flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal distress. Hot dogs not only harm pregnant women, but also the fetus in the womb. Consumption of hot dogs may result in premature delivery, miscarriage, or infection in the fetus.

Learning of these hot dog health risks, are you still willing to gamble your life for empty nutrition? Take control of your health – read up on other health risks of eating processed foods at

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