Although they are the most popular fast food on the planet, hot dogs are highly unhealthy and may be the culprit for several serious diseases. Many studies have confirmed this, which is why doctors are now urging parents all around the world to stop feeding their children with this dangerous food.

According to a recent study, children who consume 12 or more hot dogs a month are 9 times more at risk of developing leukemia! The study also found that pregnant women who eat 1 hot dog a week significantly increase the risk of their child developing a brain tumor.

The million-dollar question: what’s causing it?

According to experts, it’s the nitrites and nitrates in hot dogs that are to blame. These compounds are also present in salami, sausages, bacon and other types of processed meat. Nitrites react with amines from the meat when exposed to high temperatures which leads to the formation of nitrosamines, compounds that have been found to cause different types of cancer. Nitrosamines can form during the production process or in your digestive tract, and have been linked to stomach cancer by a recent study.

Other studies have related the compounds to esophageal cancer, and there is also evidence that suggests that nitrosamines are related to brain and thyroid tumors.

In 2010, experts from the World Health Organization have declared nitrites and nitrates as carcinogenic compounds, and the California Office of Environmental Health is currently considering listing nitrites and amines as carcinogens. This is why it’s important to avoid eating processed and cured meats as well as hot dogs in order to protect your health and prevent the development of cancer.

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