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Do Hot Dogs Cause Brain Tumors in Children?


Updated June 08, 2014

No, a child will not be at greater risk of forming brain tumors if he or she eats too many hot dogs. However, moms-to-be may want to cut hot dogs and other processed meats such as bologna, sausage, pepperoni and other packaged luncheon meats out of their diets.

The fear about hot dogs and brain tumors probably came from reports of a research study that found a correlation between the consumption of processed meats by pregnant women and a higher occurrence of brain tumors in their children. 

Later research also found that women who ate diets high in processed meats were also more likely to give birth to babies who weighed less than other babies.

While there might be a correlation between mothers-to-be and childhood brain tumors, that same risk doesn't extend to children who eat hot dogs. 

Hot dogs, franks, wieners (or whatever you wish to call them) don't cause brain tumors, but they're not exactly healthful foods. Like other processed meats, they are high in calories, sodium and saturated fats.

Eating a diet high in processed meats has also been associated with having a higher risk of other types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer, in adults. 

While the occasional hot dog at a baseball game may not ruin your health, frequent consumption of hot dogs and other processed meats shouldn't be part of a healthy diet.


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Knudsen VK, Orozova-Bekkevold IM, Mikkelsen TB, Wolff S, Olsen SF. "Major dietary patterns in pregnancy and fetal growth." Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar 28.

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