So, according to hysterical headlines this morning, we’re all doomed to death by sausage! Apparently, if we eat a sausage a day, it’ll increase the risk of bowel cancer by 20% – terrifying, no?
Well, actually, no. The base figure, assuming it’s accurate, is that 1 man in 20 will develop bowel cancer in his lifetime. Ramping that up by 20% means that a mere 1.2 men in 20 will get bowel cancer – hardly a terrifying statistic (unless you’re the fifth of a man who’s doomed!)
Anyway, this assumes that all sausages contain nitrates and phosphates, which are carcinogenic – they don’t (and my home-made ones certainly won’t!). Actually, make that can be carcinogenic, because just consuming nitrates won’t simply give you cancer, you have to be genetically pre-disposed first.
It goes without saying that this alarmist twaddle was featured in the Daily Mail – these are the same people who brought you the MMR scare, putting the health of an entire generation at risk for no reason at all. Do they actually have any bowel cancer statistics at all for people who eat sausages every day, like truckers and construction workers, which might actually mean something? Don’t be silly…