Parents are being warned that they should stop putting ham and other processed meats in their children’s lunchboxes.

Parents are being warned that they should stop putting ham and other processed meats in their children’s lunchboxes.

The World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRFI) says children who eat smoked, salted or cured meats can develop a greater risk of bowel cancer later in life.

The WCRFI says a diet high in processed and red meat is the top risk factor for developing bowel cancer.

Some estimates suggest that thousands of cancer cases could be prevented if everyone limited their intake of processed meat to 70 grams a week.

That is the equivalent of only three rashers of bacon.

Processed meat in this report includes ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages. Hamburgers and minced meats only count as processed meat if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives.

The fund suggests ham and salami should be replaced with sandwich fillers such as chicken, fish, hummus or low-fat cheese and is telling British parents not to let their kids get a taste for smoked or cured meats.

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