A new study suggests that children who regularly eat cured meats like hot dogs and bacons are at greater risk of developing leukemia, whereas foods like soy products and vegetables may be effective to protect against cancer.
Researchers found that among 515 Taiwanese teenagers and also children those who regularly eat fish and cured meats more than once in a week, with or without acute leukemia, have a 74% higher risk of developing leukemia when compared to those who rarely eat. While kids who often eat vegetables and soy products like tofu have almost half about leukemia risk of their peers who shunned vegetables and soy.
The findings of the study point to association between cured meats and leukemia risk, but it did not prove cause and effect of the disease.
The study included 145 children and teenagers, participants from 2 to 20 years old with acute leukemia who were each matched with at least two healthy individuals of the same age and sex.
The researchers collected detailed information of the participants’ diet before diagnosis of cancer, in the case of the comparison group, before their recruitment into the study.
Dr. David C. Christiani of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, one of the researchers of the group says that long-term human studies as well as animal studies are still needed to see the role of dietary factors in the development of leukemia. However, based on this and previous studies, it is highly recommended for children not to eat high amounts of fish and cured meats.