Just in time for the All-Star Game, baseball fans exiting I-435 to Kauffman Stadium will see a new billboard showing a warning label and a cigarette carton — with hot dogs inside.
“Hot dogs can strike you out — for good,” the ad reads.
Although a spokesman for the stadium’s food vendor said he hadn’t seen the billboard, the president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council was not pleased.
“A little bit alarmist,” she called the billboard.
The ad is an effort by the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to make people aware of the link recently found by Harvard School of Public Health researchers between red and processed meats and an increased risk for colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease.
“I really see processed meat as this generation’s tobacco,” said Ulka Agarwal, the committee’s clinical research director and chief medical officer.
“You can find a study to suggest anything,” said Janet Riley of the hot dog council, citing a Harvard study from 2004 that found no connection between red meat and fat consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer.
She said there is an impression that people eat too much meat, but “It’s the one group where we eat the right amount.”Agarwal said the committee’s focus is awareness by any means possible.
“People are free to eat what they want, but they should be informed about what they’re eating,” she said.