According to a report in the BBC, processed meats such as sausages, bacon, and ham appear to increase the risk of dying young from cardiovascular disease and cancer. The evidence comes from a study of half a million people across Europe.
Processed meats refer to meats that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives, including ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages.
The study which followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average showed eating processed meats was associated with other bad lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and other behaviors known to damage health.
However, when these other behaviors were taken into account, processed meats were still shown to damage health.
Commenting on the findings of the research Dr Rachel Thompson, from the World Cancer Research Fund, said:
"Our research, published in 2007 and subsequently confirmed in 2011, shows strong evidence that eating processed meat, such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami and some sausages, increases the risk of getting bowel cancer."
The evidence certainly points to the increasing dangers of processed meats. However, it is important not to lose sight of the big picture. For example, giving up bacon, while smoking 40-a-day probably wont end well.