WHO and eating processed meat

Interesting press release from WHO that eating processed meat increases potential for colon cancer.


The quoted eating “50g of processed meat can increase your changes by 18%”, evening assuming that the studies reviewed do show causation not just a relationship, the vital bit of information is what is the new risk.

In Wikipedia there is a statement that based on late 2000 data from America around 4% of men and women born around then will experience some form of colon cancer.

Hence we have a risk of 0.04 x 1.18 = 0.047, near 5%, which does seem a lot of people, the vast majority would occur over 50 years of age, incidence and mortality, and we have not idea of the world wide factors.  

Causes would be multi-faceted, and the reference below, from the US shows a decline in most population areas but that Afro-American’s have a higher rate of noth incedence and resultant mortality. There are also other interesting demographic differences e.g. Alaska has a much higher rate.


The press release from WHO does not give sifficient detail and will simply cause problems with interpretation.