US Medical Association Calls for a Ban on Processed Meat

The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates has called for hospitals to provide plant-based meals and eliminate processed meats from their menus.

This is huge victory for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine who have been actively lobbying for healthier options across a range of government funded organizations.

“RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association hereby call on US hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by (1) providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars, (2) eliminating processed meats from menus, and (3) providing and promoting healthful beverages.”

Understanding the irony of serving processed meat to sick patients, PCRM have commended AMA on their recommendation to focus on serving more plant based meals.

At the AMA meeting, Dr Neal Barnard (President of PCRM) said that, as with cigarettes, hot dogs and similar processed meats are now known to contain cancer-causing agents . “[M]any doctors and administrators would like to replace them with healthier foods,”

The American Medical Association is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States, so this decision is a huge step forward and has the potential to influence similar changes within medicine across the country.

James Loomis, M.D., M.B.A., medical director of the Barnard Medical Center says “Hospitals that provide and promote fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are likely to reduce readmissions, speed recovery times, and measurably improve the long-term health of visitors, patients, and staff,”

PCRM’s initiatives have been supported by various other US medical bodies too, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Louisiana Chapter. Their initiative was to tackle the exceptionally high death rates from colorectal cancer in Mississippi, which sits among 9 other states touted as being in the “colon cancer corridor”. The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine took it upon themselves to raise awareness through hard-hitting billboards and advertisements within the area.

Subsequently to the initiative and receiving a letter urging the hospital to protect patients from #HazardousHotDogs, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) announced it would remove hot dogs from their menus.

Furthermore, Stony Brook University Hospital in New York may be closely following suit with their head chef banishing bacon, and hot dogs.

The AMA’s recommendation to remove processed meat from menus is supported by a plethora of scientific studies showing that plant-based meals can prevent and even reverse cases of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Moreover, the World Health Organization warns that processed meats are “carcinogenic to humans” and that there is no amount safe for consumption.

Image Credit: PETA