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Keep kids away from 'processed meat'

18th August 2009

Parents have been urged against putting processed meat such as ham in their child's pack lunches.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has warned that getting children into the habit of eating ham and salami could increase their risk of developing cancer in later life.

Estimates cited by the organisation suggest that around 3,700 bowel cancer cases could be prevented if everyone ate less than 70g of processed meat per week.

WCRF children's education manager Marni Craze explained that processed meat needs to viewed as an 'occasional treat if it is eaten at all'.

She said: 'We also need to do more to raise awareness of the issue, as a recent survey has shown that two thirds of people in Britain do not know that eating processed meat increases risk of cancer.

'This is despite the scientific evidence about a link being convincing.'

She said that deterring children from eating processed meat products will also improve overall health, which could be beneficial given the number of obese children in the UK.

Recent research by the WCRF suggested that regularly consuming high calorie coffee drinks could also increase the risk of developing cancer.

The organisation found that some iced coffee drinks contain around a quarter of a woman's daily recommended calories.

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