A billboard about the health risks of eating hot dogs is stirring a debate between a physicians group and the hot dog industry.
Hot dog! A billboard along the Eisenhower Expressway is creating a red-hot, Chicago-style stir.
The billboard, seen between the Cicero and Kostner exits on I-290, reads "Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer."
The billboard was put up by the group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which has placed billboards attacking hot dogs in other cities as well.
The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council takes issue with the "outrageous, inflammatory" billboard, saying hot dogs are part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Hot dogs "come in a variety of nutrition and taste formulas and they are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals," said National Hot Dog & Sausage Council President Janet M. Riley in a statement. "This group's claims are an effort to seek attention for their animal rights cause.”
But PCRM points to a study that finds daily servings of processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer. The group says Illinois has one of the country’s highest rates of colorectal cancer, and Illinois men are among the most likely to get this type of cancer.
“Colon cancer is a killer, and processed meats get much of the blame,” says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., PCRM nutrition education director. “Many Americans have no idea that eating hot dogs and bacon raises their risk of this deadly disease. Even a few servings of processed meat a week can increase cancer danger.”
The Hot Dog Council says other studies prove the opposite. "Hot dogs are a great Chicago tradition and part of a healthy, balanced diet," Riley said.
To help prevent cancer, The American Cancer Society recommends you limit the amount of red and processed meats you eat.