Hamburger Helper – Not!

A giant study of women in Iowa may have yielded a prime clue to one diet-cancer link. Among 35,000 women age 55 to 69, the ones who ate hamburger more than once a week (one serving was considered 4 to 6 oz.) had almost twice the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma–a cancer of the immune system–as did women who ate hamburger less than once a week, reports the Journal of the American Medical Association. Eating more red meat, in general, raised risks, too, but hamburger had the worst record.

It’s way too early to say if or how red meat or hamburger causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stresses James Cerhan, MD, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Iowa’s School of Medicine, Iowa City. But previous research has linked red-meat consumption (and for lots of us, red meat is hamburger) to greater risks of breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and heart disease. Says Dr. Cerhan, “This new finding definitely supports guidelines to cut back on fatty red meat, including hamburger.”

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