COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Scientists from the World Health Organization said eating processed meats, including those that are smoked, cured or salted, pose the same cancer risk as smoking.
The WHO report classified processed meat as cancer-causing and red meat as a likely cause of cancer.
WHO said it has hard evidence coming from the evaluation of 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer classifying processed meat as "carcinogenic to humans."
The group found that simply eating 50 grams of processed meat a day, or around two slices of ham, can increase your risk of colon cancer by 18 percent, causing concern for some Georgians.
The North American Meat Institute is calling the report "dramatic and alarmist" - and argues that cancer is a complex disease "not caused by single foods."
About 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are attributed to diets that are high in processed meat.
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You can also find more information on the WHO website.