A World Health Organization report has sounded a note of warning on consumption of Nigeria’s favourite barbeque, suya, saying it could cause cancer.
Although suya and bush meat were not expressly mentioned in the report, they fall under the processed meat definition which encompasses meat that “has been modified to increase its shelf-life or alter its taste – such as by smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives.”
“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Kurt Straif from the WHO said according to BBC.
WHO said there was limited evidence that 100grammes of red meat a day increased the risk of cancer by 17 per cent. An eight ounce steak is 225grammes. The WHO said its findings were important for helping countries give balanced dietary advice.
“This decision doesn’t mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down,” Tim Key, a professor from the Cancer Research, UK and the University of Oxford, said.
“Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn’t going to do much harm – having a healthy diet is all about moderation,” he added.