Bacon industry still threatened by cancer scare

The bacon market could be feeling a backlash from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) previous report that claimed processed meat causes cancer. 

Kitchen appliance retailer and repairer, Glotechrepairs.co.uk, said that a survey of 2,000 people’s breakfast eating habits revealed that over a quarter of people aged 18-24 no longer include bacon in their breakfast.

“We wouldn’t tell people to never eat bacon or sausages, but to look at their consumption,” said Ursula Philpot, dietitian and senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. “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.”

Despite concerns, the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said that although bacon sales have mostly recovered from the 17% dip in the weeks following the report, they have still experienced a 4% drop in sales in the three months since the report was released.

“With the growing emergence of social media, teens and adolescents are becoming increasingly aware of their eating habits,” said Anna Daniels, a dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokesperson.

“There is a worry that this can be taken to the extreme, as a little bacon in a full English occasionally, as part of a balanced diet, would be perfectly harmless.”

The study also revealed that more women were likely to pick up breakfast on their way to work, whereas more men were likely to eat at home.

“I think a slightly more concerning finding from the study is that more and more people are eating on the go, picking up breakfast en route to work and not eating it at home,” added Daniels.

“This leaves the consumer more likely to eat pre-packaged and processed breakfasts that may be higher in sugar and salt. A good breakfast will set you up for the day and ensure that you don’t reach for the biscuit tin mid-morning.”

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