5 Movies With Horrifying Aftermaths

Pretty much all Hollywood movies have happy endings. And while that’s great for wish fulfillment, it doesn’t exactly reflect reality. In life, every single hero’s story eventually ends with “and then they died.” And hey, turns out that movies work that way too if you think their events through to their logical conclusions. Here are a bunch of films which, if you kept watching, would slowly turn dark and horrifying.

5

The Incredibles — Children Will Be Forced Into Relocation Programs

The Incredibles is set in a world in which superheroes exist, but everyone hates them because of their nasty habit of breaking absolutelyeverything. At the start of the film, a series of lawsuits have forced all the superheroes to reveal their identities to the government, after which they are forcibly relocated into boring suburban lives. However, Mr. Incredible and his family regain the admiration of the public by destroying a giant robot, and by the end of the movie, they’re kicking supervillain butt as a family.

The Problem:

It’s kind of adorable that the Incredibles even bothered to put on their masks in that last scene, because remember, the government knows who they are. They know who every superhero is. So what’s gonna happen the next time someone’s Lexus turns into a crater during a superpowered battle? Those lawsuits are going to come roaring back with a vengeance. It’s not like people are getting less litigious.

The Parr kids have gotten a taste of the hero life, but they’ll inevitably be forced to relocate again. And that’s the best-case scenario. At least their parents had a decent amount of time as heroes before being forced to shut it down, and even then, look how Mr. Incredible handled his newfound mediocrity:

Pixar“Can’t fire me if you’re in a coma.”

It’s not hard to imagine an adult Dash finding himself in a similar situation as his father, working a crappy day job while moonlighting as a frustrated superhero, ripping up his whole family’s roots every time he slips up and tries to help someone. Of course, this is all pure speculation. It’s not as if Pixar likes subjecting its characters to unbearably sad situations or anything.

4

Evan Almighty Proves That God Exists, And That Has Some Heavy Implications

In Evan Almighty (the sequel to Jim Carrey’s Bruce Almighty and prequel to Billy Baldwin’s direct-to-DVD Billy Baldwin Almighty), Steve Carell stars as Evan Baxter, a newscaster turned congressman. One day, Evan receives a message from Morgan “God” Freeman, telling him to build an ark to prepare for a flood. Evan reluctantly complies, while everyone in town mocks and ridicules him. That is, until the foretold flood happens and all those people rush right onto Evan’s Ark for salvation.

In the end, not one person dies in a flood of literally biblical proportions, and Evan is celebrated as a hero, rather than a lucky crackpot with a boat, of which there are many.

The Problem:

Hey, did you know that according to a 2017 study, 26 percent of Americans don’t believe in God? Now imagine all of those people finding out that their whole concept of life and morality has been wrong all along. (Now imagine that crisis being instigated by Steve Carrell, of all people.)

Universal PicturesAnd wait until the racist ones find out about God’s skin tone.

And what about extremists and fundamentalists? Definite confirmation that God is real and has yet to strike them down would tell them that they’re onto something. How many sexual minorities and atheist holdouts would die on the first day alone? How many more on each subsequent day, as the extremists grow in number and conviction? But hey, Steve Carell patched things up with his wife, so it was all worth it.

3

Face/Off‘s Protagonist Will Have To Tell His Adopted Kid That He Impaled His Biological Dad With A Spear Gun

There are a lot of twists and turns in Face/Off, the only movie to ask the question on all of our minds each and every day: “What would happen if Nicolas Cage and John Travolta switched faces?” But in the end, FBI agent Sean Archer (Travolta) successfully kills international terrorist Castor Troy (Cage) and gets his original face back. He comes home to his traumatized wife and daughter with a little surprise — no, not Cage’s disembodied face, but it’s the next-best thing! Here’s Adam, the adorable son of the terrorist who almost murdered them all!

Paramount PicturesNo kid with that origin and that haircut ends up not becoming serial killer adult …

Archer grew fond of Adam and his mom while posing as Troy, and promised to take care of the kid before she died. The family accepts Adam with open arms, and all is well.

The Problem:

Adam looks to be around four or five years old, which means he’ll grow up with only vague memories of his mom and the weird Cagey guy who used to hang around from time to time. But at some point, Archer will be forced to sit the kid down and explain that not only was his real dad a deranged criminal, but also that Archer himself murdered said criminal with a spear gun after a wicked speedboat chase. If he wants to be completely honest with his adopted son, Archer will also have to disclose that he screamed “DIEEEEEEE!!!” while doing so.

So … when is the appropriate time to reveal something like this to your kid? Their tenth birthday? 18th? The 47th? Is it even possible to deliver this information in a non-traumatizing way, at any age? Hell, we only watched a movie about it, and we’re still traumatized to this day.

2

The Rock‘s Finale Means Nicolas Cage’s Family Is Doomed

In 1996’s The Rock, Sean Connery plays a former British spy who’s been in an FBI prison for 30 years because he stole microfilm containing America’s greatest secrets (JFK’s true killer, the Roswell aliens, Eleanor Roosevelt’s nudes, etc). Connery is recruited for a special mission alongside FBI chemist Stanley Goodspeed, played by Nicolas Cage. Yes, Cage’s name in this movie is “Stanley Goodspeed.” It is among his more subtle and restrained roles.

Touchstone PicturesSee?

Together, Cage and Connery successfully thwart a squad of rogue marines and save San Francisco, at which point it’s time for Connery to go back to his cell. But Cage does him a solid and fakes his death, which Connery repays by sharing the location of the long-hidden microfilm. The movie ends with Cage retrieving the film, about to spill the beans on JFK’s killer to his new wife.

The Problem:

The FBI’s hardass director seems to buy Cage’s halfhearted explanation that Connery was “vaporized” in an explosion, but there’s no way everyone else in the agency will. After all, this man could singlehandedly bring down the entire U.S. government. Once they realize there’s no evidence whatsoever that Connery died, they’ll start following Cage (with satellites if they have to), and will inevitably find out that he has the microfilm himself. Yes, the fate of the nation is in Nicolas Cage’s hands.

At this point, there are two possible outcomes: 1) Cage is caught by the FBI and locked in the deepest, darkest hole they can find (after all, they already did that once), or 2) he eludes the agents, but is forced to go on the run. With a new wife and a baby on the way. Whatever happens, that kid is gonna have a messed-up life. Man, being Nicolas Cage’s child in a movie sucks. It’s like the total opposite of real life, where having Nicolas Cage for a dad is all we dream of, every single night.

1

The Kid From The Iron Giant Is Definitely Getting Cancer

The end of The Iron Giant isn’t exactly happy, but it is hopeful. While the giant sacrifices himself to save the town, our protagonist, a little boy named Hogarth, does get an iron bolt found in the fallout of the nuclear explosion, which he keeps as a memento of his fallen friend.

Warner Bros. PicturesIf this were a human, that’d probably be like a finger or something.

Later that night, we see the bolt moving by itself, implying that the Giant’s various pieces are slowly coming together again. Look for Vin Diesel to return in 2 Iron 2 Giant.

The Problem:

You know who wouldn’t return if there was a sequel? Hogarth. Because he’d be dead.

Hogarth keeping a token from his buddy is a really sweet thought … except for the fact that it was completely bathed in radiation. Radiation from nuclear catastrophes stays on scrap metal for a very, very long time. We’re even experiencing a worldwide problem right now wherein metal used in military or industrial hardware has been melted down and reused, but the dangerous radiation lived on. In 2005, Taiwanese residents living in apartments made of this reused metal saw massive increases in leukemia and breast cancer. Again, this is reused and refined metal, decades after the fact.

Warner Bros. Pictures“Mom, another hair clump fell out … some teeth, too.”

Hogarth receives that bolt not long after it survived a nuclear explosion. If he doesn’t die soon after from radiation poisoning, he has about a 100 percent chance of developing cancer. So if you weren’t already weeping at the ending of The Iron Giant, you should be now.

Tim Chawaga writes here, on Twitter, and http://www.pentaxlas.com. Please follow him. Jordan Breeding also writes for Paste Magazine, the Twitter, himself, and has been described by his parents as the horrifying aftermath of an otherwise-great thing. S.S.A is also on TopBuzz.

Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more deceivingly happy movie endings, check out 6 Happy Movie Endings That Actually Ruin the Hero’s Life and 6 Off-Screen Tragedies That Follow Happy Movie Endings.

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20+ Incredible Makeup Transformations That Prove Every Woman Is A Hollywood Star

Makeup might not heal wounds but it can help people live with them. And that’s exactly what Armenia-born and Moscow-based beauty guru Goar Avetisyan specializes in. Avetisyan regularly gives makeovers to women suffering from cancer or severe skin conditions, and her work not only dramatically changes their appearance but boosts their confidence, too.

Looking at the before-and-after shots of her subjects, Avetisyan’s 4.6 million-big Instagram following doesn’t come as a surprise. Lashings of concealer, lip liner and clouds of hairspray – as well as brilliant contouring – and they all look excited about their new looks. Scroll down to check out the unbelievable transformations and upvote your favorites.

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/women-makeup-transformation-goar-avetisyan/

Bill Turnbull reveals prostate cancer

Former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The 62-year-old said it was found in November and cancer has spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs.

Turnbull told the Radio Times he wanted to encourage people to get tested, saying: “Maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state.”

He said he had put long-term aches and pains down to “old age”.

The interview was conducted by Sian Williams, Turnbull’s former colleague on the Breakfast sofa, who had a double mastectomy for breast cancer in 2014.

Turnbull left the BBC in 2016 and now hosts a show on Classic FM. His former BBC colleagues sent him best wishes following his announcement.

Image caption Minchin told viewers on Tuesday her former colleague was “on really good form”

Current BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin told viewers on Tuesday that Turnbull had been in “really good spirits” and “upbeat” when she phoned him on Monday.

“Anybody who has watched him over the last 15 years knows he’s an immensely optimistic person,” she added.

“He was on really good form. He is undergoing treatment at the moment. So best wishes to Bill and all his family as well.”

Minchin’s co-host Dan Walker added: “He hopes to be around for some time yet, which is good news.”

On Radio 4’s Today programme, Nick Robinson said Turnbull was “putting about as a brave a face on it as ever”.

And on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, host Susanna Reid – who left the BBC Breakfast sofa in 2014 – sent Turnbull “loads of love” .

Turnbull said in his interview he had had prostate tests when he was aged 40 and 50.

But he said he was “cross” for having prided himself on not visiting a GP in four years and only sought help when his pains could no longer be alleviated with pills.

The father of three said after being diagnosed the “first few days were probably the worst days of my life”.

“The GP said, ‘It’s clear you have prostate cancer and that it’s spread to the bone’. And all of a sudden you’re in this dark chasm.”

Turnbull said it “saddens me that I’m not going to be around as much as I thought with my wife and family… I realised if things progress as they do on average, I can’t plan beyond 12 years”.

He said he was diagnosed while recording an episode of The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer on Channel 4.

“I had the disease and didn’t know it,” he said.

In a tweet, Turnbull said he was receiving excellent treatment, including chemotherapy, at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Turnbull worked as a BBC radio reporter and foreign news correspondent before joining BBC Breakfast in 2001.

He became one of the main weekday hosts in 2008 and moved with the programme from London to Salford in 2012.

Announcing his decision to step down from the show in 2015, the star said his 15-year tenure was “more than enough for me and the audience”.

His interview comes the month after actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry revealed he recently underwent surgery for prostate cancer.


What is prostate cancer?

  • It’s the most common cancer in men in the UK – an ageing population means more men are developing and dying from the disease
  • 40,000 new cases are diagnosed and around 11,000 men die from it each year
  • It can develop slowly over years and many men have no symptoms
  • Noticeable symptoms include needing to urinate more often and weak flow
  • There is no single test for prostate cancer – a blood test, biopsies and physical examinations are all used

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWe explain what warning signs to look out for.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-43293328

Yes, bacon really is killing us

The long read: Decades of research proves that chemicals used to make bacon do cause cancer. So how did the meat industry convince us it was safe?

There was a little cafe I used to go to that did the best bacon sandwiches. They came in a soft and pillowy white bap. The bacon, thick-cut from a local butcher, was midway between crispy and chewy. Ketchup and HP sauce were served in miniature jars with the sandwich, so you could dab on the exact amount you liked. That was all there was to it: just bread and bacon and sauce. Eating one of these sandwiches, as I did every few weeks, with a cup of strong coffee, felt like an uncomplicated pleasure.

And then, all of a sudden, the bacon sandwich stopped being quite so comforting. For a few weeks in October 2015, half the people I knew were talking about the news that eating bacon was now a proven cause of cancer. You couldnt miss the story: it was splashed large in every newspaper and all over the web. As one journalist wrote in Wired, Perhaps no two words together are more likely to set the internet aflame than BACON and CANCER. The BBC website announced, matter-of-factly, that Processed meats do cause cancer, while the Sun went with Banger out of Order and Killer in the Kitchen.

The source of the story was an announcement from the World Health Organization that processed meats were now classified as a group 1 carcinogen, meaning scientists were certain that there was sufficient evidence that they caused cancer, particularly colon cancer. The warning applied not just to British bacon but to Italian salami, Spanish chorizo, German bratwurst and myriad other foods.

Health scares are ten-a-penny, but this one was very hard to ignore. The WHO announcement came on advice from 22 cancer experts from 10 countries, who reviewed more than 400 studies on processed meat covering epidemiological data from hundreds of thousands of people. It was now possible to say that eat less processed meat, much like eat more vegetables, had become one of the very few absolutely incontrovertible pieces of evidence-based diet advice not simply another high-profile nutrition fad. As every news report highlighted, processed meat was now in a group of 120 proven carcinogens, alongside alcohol, asbestos and tobacco leading to a great many headlines blaring that bacon was as deadly as smoking.

The WHO advised that consuming 50g of processed meat a day equivalent to just a couple of rashers of bacon or one hotdog would raise the risk of getting bowel cancer by 18% over a lifetime. (Eating larger amounts raises your risk more.) Learning that your own risk of cancer has increased from something like 5% to something like 6% may not be frightening enough to put you off bacon sandwiches for ever. But learning that consumption of processed meat causes an additional 34,000 worldwide cancer deaths a year is much more chilling. According to Cancer Research UK, if no one ate processed or red meat in Britain, there would be 8,800 fewer cases of cancer. (That is four times the number of people killed annually on Britains roads.)

The news felt especially shocking because both ham and bacon are quintessentially British foods. Nearly a quarter of the adult population in Britain eats a ham sandwich for lunch on any given day, according to data from 2012 gathered by researchers Luke Yates and Alan Warde. To many consumers, bacon is not just a food; it is a repository of childhood memories, a totem of home. Surveys indicate that the smell of frying bacon is one of our favourite scents in the UK, along with cut grass and fresh bread. To be told that bacon had given millions of people cancer was a bit like finding out your granny had been secretly sprinkling arsenic on your morning toast.

Vegetarians might point out that the bacon sandwich should never have been seen as comforting. It is certainly no comfort for the pigs, most of whom are kept in squalid, cramped conditions. But for the rest of us, it was alarming to be told that these beloved foods might be contributing to thousands of needless human deaths. In the weeks following news of the WHO report, sales of bacon and sausages fell dramatically. British supermarkets reported a 3m drop in sales in just a fortnight. (It was very detrimental, said Kirsty Adams, the product developer for meat at Marks and Spencer.)

But just when it looked as if this may be #Bacongeddon (one of many agonised bacon-related hashtags trending in October 2015), a second wave of stories flooded in. Their message was: panic over. For one thing, the analogy between bacon and smoking was misleading. Smoking tobacco and eating processed meat are both dangerous, but not on the same scale. To put it in context, around 86% of lung cancers are linked to smoking, whereas it seems that just 21% of bowel cancers can be attributed to eating processed or red meat. A few weeks after publishing the report, the WHO issued a clarification insisting it was not telling consumers to stop eating processed meat.

Meanwhile, the meat industry was busily insisting that there was nothing to see here. The North American Meat Institute, an industry lobby group, called the report dramatic and alarmist overreach. A whole tranche of articles insisted in a commonsense tone that it would be premature and foolish to ditch our meaty fry-ups just because of a little cancer scare.

Nearly three years on, it feels like business as usual for processed meats. Many of us seem to have got over our initial sense of alarm. Sales of bacon in the UK are buoyant, having risen 5% in the two years up to mid-2016. When I interviewed a product developer for Sainsburys supermarket last year, she said that one of the quickest ways to get British consumers to try a new product now was to add chorizo to it.

And yet the evidence linking bacon to cancer is stronger than ever. In January, a new large-scale study using data from 262,195 British women suggested that consuming just 9g of bacon a day less than a rasher could significantly raise the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. The studys lead author, Jill Pell from the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow University, told me that while it can be counterproductive to push for total abstinence, the scientific evidence suggests it would be misleading for health authorities to set any safe dose for processed meat other than zero.

The real scandal of bacon, however, is that it didnt have to be anything like so damaging to our health. The part of the story we havent been told including by the WHO is that there were always other ways to manufacture these products that would make them significantly less carcinogenic. The fact that this is so little known is tribute to the power of the meat industry, which has for the past 40 years been engaged in a campaign of cover-ups and misdirection to rival the dirty tricks of Big Tobacco.


How do you choose a pack of bacon in a shop, assuming you are a meat eater? First, you opt for either the crispy fat of streaky or the leanness of back. Then you decide between smoked or unsmoked each version has its passionate defenders (I am of the unsmoked persuasion). Maybe you seek out a packet made from free-range or organic meat, or maybe your budget is squeezed and you search for any bacon on special offer. Either way, before you put the pack in your basket, you have one last look, to check if the meat is pink enough.

Since we eat with our eyes, the main way we judge the quality of cured meats is pinkness. Yet it is this very colour that we should be suspicious of, as the French journalist Guillaume Coudray explains in a book published in France last year called Cochonneries, a word that means both piggeries and rubbish or junk food. The subtitle is How Charcuterie Became a Poison. Cochonneries reads like a crime novel, in which the processed meat industry is the perpetrator and ordinary consumers are the victims.

The pinkness of bacon or cooked ham, or salami is a sign that it has been treated with chemicals, more specifically with nitrates and nitrites. It is the use of these chemicals that is widely believed to be the reason why processed meat is much more carcinogenic than unprocessed meat. Coudray argues that we should speak not of processed meat but nitro-meat.

Parma
Prosciutto di Parma has been produced without nitrates since 1993. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Pure insane crazy madness is how Coudray described the continuing use of nitrates and nitrites in processed meats, in an email to me. The madness, in his view, is that it is possible to make bacon and ham in ways that would be less carcinogenic. The most basic way to cure any meat is to salt it either with a dry salt rub or a wet brine and to wait for time to do the rest. Coudray notes that ham and bacon manufacturers claim this old-fashioned way of curing isnt safe. But the real reason they reject it is cost: it takes much longer for processed meats to develop their flavour this way, which cuts into profits.

There is much confusion about what processed meat actually means, a confusion encouraged by the bacon industry, which benefits from us thinking there is no difference between a freshly minced lamb kofta and a pizza smothered in nitrate-cured pepperoni. Technically, processed meat means pork or beef that has been salted and cured, with or without smoking. A fresh pound of beef mince isnt processed. A hard stick of cured salami is.

The health risk of bacon is largely to do with two food additives: potassium nitrate (also known as saltpetre) and sodium nitrite. It is these that give salamis, bacons and cooked hams their alluring pink colour. Saltpetre sometimes called sal prunella has been used in some recipes for salted meats since ancient times. As Jane Grigson explains in Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery, saltpetre was traditionally used when brining hams to give them an attractive rosy appearance when otherwise it would be a murky greyish brown.

In earlier centuries, bacon-makers who used saltpetre did not understand that it converts to nitrite as the meat cures. It is this nitrite that allows the bacteria responsible for cured flavour to emerge quicker, by inhibiting the growth of other bacteria. But in the early 20th century, the meat industry found that the production of cured meats could be streamlined by adding sodium nitrite to the pork in pure form. In trade journals of the 1960s, the firms who sold nitrite powders to ham-makers spoke quite openly about how the main advantage was to increase profit margins by speeding up production. One French brand of sodium nitrite from the 60s was called Vitorose or quick-pink.

Nitro-chemicals have been less of a boon to consumers. In and of themselves, these chemicals are not carcinogenic. After all, nitrate is naturally present in many green vegetables, including celery and spinach, something that bacon manufacturers often jubilantly point out. As one British bacon-maker told me, Theres nitrate in lettuce and no one is telling us not to eat that!

But something different happens when nitrates are used in meat processing. When nitrates interact with certain components in red meat (haem iron, amines and amides), they form N-nitroso compounds, which cause cancer. The best known of these compounds is nitrosamine. This, as Guillaume Coudray explained to me in an email, is known to be carcinogenic even at a very low dose. Any time someone eats bacon, ham or other processed meat, their gut receives a dose of nitrosamines, which damage the cells in the lining of the bowel, and can lead to cancer.

You would not know it from the way bacon is sold, but scientists have known nitrosamines are carcinogenic for a very long time. More than 60 years ago, in 1956, two British researchers called Peter Magee and John Barnes found that when rats were fed dimethyl nitrosamine, they developed malignant liver tumours. By the 1970s, animal studies showed that small, repeated doses of nitrosamines and nitrosamides exactly the kind of regular dose a person might have when eating a daily breakfast of bacon were found to cause tumours in many organs including the liver, stomach, oesophagus, intestines, bladder, brain, lungs and kidneys.

Just because something is a carcinogen in rats and other mammals does not mean it will cause cancer in humans, but as far back as 1976, cancer scientist William Lijinsky argued that we must assume that these N-nitroso compounds found in meats such as bacon were also carcinogens for man. In the years since, researchers have gathered a massive body of evidence to lend weight to that assumption. In 1994, to take just one paper among hundreds on nitrosamines and cancer, two American epidemiologists found that eating hotdogs one or more times a week was associated with higher rates of childhood brain cancer, particularly for children who also had few vitamins in their diets.

In 1993, Parma ham producers in Italy made a collective decision to remove nitrates from their products and revert to using only salt, as in the old days. For the past 25 years, no nitrates or nitrites have been used in any Prosciutto di Parma. Even without nitrate or nitrite, the Parma ham stays a deep rosy-pink colour. We now know that the colour in Parma ham is totally harmless, a result of the enzyme reactions during the hams 18-month ageing process.

Slow-cured, nitrate-free, artisan hams are one thing, but what about mass-market meats? Eighteen months would be a long time to wait on hotdogs, as the food science expert Harold McGee comments. But there have always been recipes for nitrate-free bacon using nothing but salt and herbs. John Gower of Quiet Waters Farm, a pork producer who advises many British manufacturers of cured meats, confirms that nitrate is not a necessary ingredient in bacon: Its generally accepted that solid muscle products, as opposed to chopped meat products like salami, dont require the addition of nitrate for safety reasons.

Bacon is proof, if it were needed, that we cling to old comforts long after they have been proven harmful. The attachment of producers to nitrates in bacon is mostly cultural, says Gower. Bacon cured by traditional methods without nitrates and nitrites will lack what Gower calls that hard-to-define tang, that delicious almost metallic taste that makes bacon taste of bacon to British consumers. Bacon without nitrates, says Gower, is nothing but salt pork.

Given the harm of nitro-meat has been known for so long, the obvious question is why more has not been done to protect us from it. Corinna Hawkes, a professor of Food Policy at City University in London, has been predicting for years that processed meats will be the next sugar a food so harmful that there will be demands for government agencies to step in and protect us. Some day soon, Hawkes believes, consumers will finally wake up to the clear links between cancer and processed meat and say Why didnt someone tell me about this?


The most amazing thing about the bacon panic of 2015 was that it took so long for official public health advice to turn against processed meat. It could have happened 40 years earlier. The only time that the processed meat industry has looked seriously vulnerable was during the 1970s, a decade that saw the so-called war on nitrates in the US. In an era of Ralph Nader-style consumer activism, there was a gathering mood in favour of protecting shoppers against bacon which one prominent public health scientist called the most dangerous food in the supermarket. In 1973, Leo Freedman, the chief toxicologist of the US Food and Drug Administration, confirmed to the New York Times that nitrosamines are a carcinogen for humans although he also mentioned that he liked bacon as well as anybody.

The US meat industry realised it had to act fast to protect bacon against the cancer charge. The first attempts to fight back were simply to ridicule the scientists for over-reacting. In a 1975 article titled Factual look at bacon scare, Farmers Weekly insisted that a medium-weight man would have to consume more than 11 tonnes of bacon every single day to run the faintest risk of cancer. This was an outrageous fabrication.

But soon the meat lobby came up with a cleverer form of diversion. The AMI the American Meat Institute started to make the argument that the nitrate was only there for the consumers own safety, to ward off botulism a potentially fatal toxin sometimes produced by poorly preserved foods. The scientific director of the AMI argued that a single cup of botulism would be enough to wipe out every human on the planet. So, far from harming lives, bacon was actually saving them.

In 1977, the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture gave the meat industry three months to prove that nitrate and nitrite in bacon caused no harm. Without a satisfactory response, Coudray writes, these additives would have to be replaced 36 months later with non-carcinogenic methods. The meat industry could not prove that nitrosamines were not carcinogenic because it was already known that they were. Instead, the argument was made that nitrates and nitrites were utterly essential for the making of bacon, because without them bacon would cause thousands of deaths from botulism. In 1978, in response to the FDAs challenge, Richard Lyng, director of the AMI, argued that nitrites are to processed meat as yeast is to bread.

The meat industrys tactics in defending bacon have been right out of the tobacco industrys playbook, according to Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University. The first move is: attack the science. By the 1980s, the AMI was financing a group of scientists based at the University of Wisconsin. These meat researchers published a stream of articles casting doubt on the harmfulness of nitrates and exaggerating the risk from botulism of non-nitrated hams.

Does making ham without nitrite lead to botulism? If so, it is a little strange that in the 25 years that Parma ham has been made without nitrites, there has not been a single case of botulism associated with it. Almost all the cases of botulism from preserved food which are extremely rare have been the result of imperfectly preserved vegetables, such as bottled green beans, peas and mushrooms. The botulism argument was a smokescreen. The more that consumers could be made to feel that the harmfulness of nitrate and nitrite in bacon and ham was still a matter of debate, the more they could be encouraged to calm down and keep buying bacon.

A
A bacon sandwich at a diner in Michigan. Photograph: Molly Riley/Reuters

The botulism pretext was very effective. The AMI managed to get the FDA to keep delaying its three-month ultimatum on nitrites until a new FDA commissioner was appointed in 1980 one more sympathetic to hotdogs. The nitrite ban was shelved. The only concession the industry had made was to limit the percentage of nitrites added to processed meat and to agree to add vitamin C, which would supposedly mitigate the formation of nitrosamines, although it does nothing to prevent the formation of another known carcinogen, nitrosyl-haem.

Over the years, the messages challenging the dangers of bacon have become ever more outlandish. An explainer article by the Meat Science and Muscle Biology lab at the University of Wisconsin argues that sodium nitrite is in fact critical for maintaining human health by controlling blood pressure, preventing memory loss, and accelerating wound healing. A French meat industry website, info-nitrites.fr, argues that the use of the right dose of nitrites in ham guarantees healthy and safe products, and insists that ham is an excellent food for children.

The bacon lobby has also found surprising allies among the natural foods brigade. Type nitrate cancer bacon into Google, and you will find a number of healthy eating articles, some of them written by advocates of the Paleo diet, arguing that bacon is actually a much-maligned health food. The writers often mention that vegetables are the primary source of nitrates, and that human saliva is high in nitrite. One widely shared article claims that giving up bacon would be as absurd as attempting to stop swallowing. Out of the mass of stuff on the internet defending the healthiness of bacon, it can be hard to tell which writers have fallen under the sway of the meat lobby, and which are simply clueless nutrition experts who dont know any better.

Either way, this misinformation has the potential to make thousands of people unwell. The mystifying part is why the rest of us have been so willing to accept the cover-up.


Our deepening knowledge of its harm has done very little to damage the comforting cultural associations of bacon. While I was researching this article, I felt a rising disgust at the repeated dishonesty of the processed meat industry. I thought about hospital wards and the horrible pain and indignity of bowel cancer. But then I remembered being in the kitchen with my father as a child on a Sunday morning, watching him fry bacon. When all the bacon was cooked, he would take a few squares of bread and fry them in the meaty fat until they had soaked up all its goodness.

In theory, our habit of eating salted and cured meats should have died out as soon as home refrigerators became widespread in the mid-20th century. But tastes in food are seldom rational, and millions of us are still hooked on the salty, smoky, umami savour of sizzling bacon.

We are sentimental about bacon in a way we never were with cigarettes, and this stops us from thinking straight. The widespread willingness to forgive pink, nitrated bacon for causing cancer illustrates how torn we feel when something beloved in our culture is proven to be detrimental to health. Our brains cant cope with the horrid feeling that bacon is not what we thought it was, and so we turn our anger outwards to the health gurus warning us of its hazards. The reaction of many consumers to the WHO report of 2015 was: hands off my bacon!

In 2010, the EU considered banning the use of nitrates in organic meats. Perhaps surprisingly, the British organic bacon industry vigorously opposed the proposed nitrates ban. Richard Jacobs, the late chief executive of Organic Farmers & Growers, an industry body, said that prohibiting nitrate and nitrite would have meant the collapse of a growing market for organic bacon.

Organic bacon produced with nitrates sounds like a contradiction in terms, given that most consumers of organic food buy it out of concerns for food safety. Having gone to the trouble of rearing pigs using free-range methods and giving them only organic feed, why would you then cure the meat in ways that make it carcinogenic? In Denmark, all organic bacon is nitrate-free. But the UK organic industry insisted that British shoppers would be unlikely to accept bacon that was greyish.

Then again, the slowness of consumers to lose our faith in pink bacon may partly be a response to the confusing way that the health message has been communicated to us. When it comes to processed meat, we have been misled not just by wild exaggerations of the food industry but by the caution of science.

On the WHO website, the harmfulness of nitrite-treated meats is explained so opaquely you could miss it altogether. In the middle of a paragraph on what makes red meat and processed meat increase the risk of cancer, it says: For instance, carcinogenic chemicals that form during meat processing include N-nitroso compounds. What this means, in plain English, is that nitrites make bacon more carcinogenic. But instead of spelling this out, the WHO moves swiftly on to the question of how both red and processed meats might cause cancer, after adding that it is not yet fully understood how cancer risk is increased.

The
The typical British sausages does not fall into the processed meat category. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

This caution has kept us as consumers unnecessarily in the dark. Consider sausages. For years, I believed that the unhealthiest part in a cooked English breakfast was the sausage, rather than the bacon. Before I started to research this article, Id have sworn that sausages fell squarely into the processed meat category. They are wrongly listed as such on the NHS website.

But the average British sausage as opposed to a hard sausage like a French saucisson is not cured, being made of nothing but fresh meat, breadcrumbs, herbs, salt and E223, a preservative that is non-carcinogenic. After much questioning, two expert spokespeople for the US National Cancer Institute confirmed to me that one might consider fresh sausages to be red meat and not processed meat, and thus only a probable carcinogen. (To me, the fact that most sausages are not processed meat was deeply cheering, and set me dancing around the kitchen with glee thinking about toad in the hole.)

In general, if you ask a cancer scientist to distinguish between the risks of eating different types of meat, they become understandably cagey. The two experts at the National Cancer Institute told me that meats containing nitrites and nitrates have consistently been associated with increased risk of colon cancer in human studies. But they added that it is difficult to separate nitrosamines from other possible carcinogens that may be present in processed meats like bacon. These other suspects include haem iron a substance that is abundant in all red meat, processed or not and heterocyclic amines: chemicals that form in meat during cooking. A piece of crispy, overcooked bacon will contain multiple carcinogens, and not all are due to the nitrates.

The problem with this reasoning, as I see it, is that it cant account for why processed meat is so much more closely linked to cancer than cooked red meat. For that, there remains no plausible explanation except for nitrates and nitrites. But looking for clear confirmation of this in the data is tricky, given that humans do not eat in labs under clinical observation.

Most of what we know about processed meat and cancer in humans comes from epidemiology the study of disease across whole populations. But epidemiologists do not ask the kind of detailed questions about food that the people who eat that food may like answers to. The epidemiological data based on surveys of what people eat is now devastatingly clear that diets high in processed meats lead to a higher incidence of cancer. But it cant tell us how or why or which meats are the best or worst. As Corinna Hawkes of City University comments, The researchers dont ask you if you are eating artisanal charcuterie from the local Italian deli or the cheapest hotdogs on the planet.

I would love to see data comparing the cancer risk of eating nitrate-free Parma ham with that of traditional bacon, but no epidemiologist has yet done such a study. The closest anyone has come was a French study from 2015, which found that consumption of nitrosylated haem iron as found in processed meats had a more direct association with colon cancer than the haem iron that is present in fresh red meat.

It may be possible that epidemiologists have not asked people more detailed questions about what kind of processed meats they eat because they assume there is no mass-market alternative to bacon made without nitrates or nitrites. But this is about to change.


The technology now exists to make the pink meats we love in a less damaging form, which raises the question of why the old kind is still so freely sold. Ever since the war on nitrates of the 1970s, US consumers have been more savvy about nitrates than those in Europe, and there is a lot of nitrate-free bacon on the market. The trouble, as Jill Pell remarks, is that most of the bacon labelled as nitrate-free in the US isnt nitrate-free. Its made with nitrates taken from celery extract, which may be natural, but produces exactly the same N-nitroso compounds in the meat. Under EU regulation, this bacon would not be allowed to be labelled nitrate-free.

Its the worst con Ive ever seen in my entire life, says Denis Lynn, the chair of Finnebrogue Artisan, a Northern Irish company that makes sausages for many UK supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer. For years, Lynn had been hoping to diversify into bacon and ham but, he says, I wasnt going to do it until we found a way to do it without nitrates.

When Lynn heard about a new process, developed in Spain, for making perfectly pink, nitrate-free bacon, he assumed it was another blind alley. In 2009, Juan de Dios Hernandez Canovas, a food scientist and the head of the food tech company Prosur, found that if he added certain fruit extracts to fresh pork, it stayed pink for a surprisingly long time.

In January 2018, Finnebrogue used this technology to launch genuinely nitrate-free bacon and ham in the UK. It is sold in Sainsburys and Waitrose as Naked Bacon and Naked Ham, and in M&S as nitrate-free bacon. Kirsty Adams, who oversaw its launch at M&S, explains that its not really cured. Its more like a fresh salted pork injected with a fruit and vegetable extract, and is more perishable than an old-fashioned flitch of bacon but that doesnt matter, given that it is kept in a fridge. Because it is quick to produce, this is much more economically viable to make than some of the other nitrate-free options, such as slow-cured Parma ham. The bacon currently sells in Waitrose for 3 a pack, which is not the cheapest, but not prohibitive either.

I tried some of the Finnebrogue nitrate-free bacon from M&S. The back bacon tasted pleasant and mild, with a slight fruitiness. It didnt have the toothsome texture or smoky depth of a rasher of butchers dry-cured bacon, but Id happily buy it again as an alternative to nitro-meat. None of my family noticed the difference in a spaghetti amatriciana.

Nitrate-free bacon still sounds a bit fancy and niche, but there shouldnt be anything niche about the desire to eat food that doesnt raise your risk of cancer. Lynn says that when he first approached Prosur about the fruit extract, he asked how much they had sold to the other big bacon manufacturers during the two years they had been offering it in the UK. The answer was none. None of the big guys wanted to take it, claims Lynn. They said: It will make our other processed meats look dodgy.

But it also remains to be seen how much consumer demand there will be for nitrate-free bacon. For all the noise about bacon and cancer, it isnt easy to disentangle at a personal level just what kind of risk we are at when we eat a bacon sandwich. OK, so 34,000 people may die each year because of processed meat in their diet, but the odds are that it wont be you. I asked a series of cancer scientists whether they personally ate processed meat, and they all gave slightly different answers. Jill Pell said she was mostly vegetarian and ate processed meats very rarely. But when I asked Fabrice Pierre, a French expert on colon cancer and meat, if he eats ham, he replied: Yes, of course. But with vegetables at the same meal. (Pierres research at the Toxalim lab has shown him that some of the carcinogenic effects of ham can be offset by eating vegetables.)

Our endless doubt and confusion about what we should be eating have been a gift to the bacon industry. The cover-up about the harm of meat cured with nitrate has been helped along by the scepticism many of us feel about all diet advice. At the height of the great bacon scare of 2015, lots of intelligent voices were saying that it was safe to ignore the new classification of processed meats as carcinogenic, because you cant trust anything these nutritionists say. Meanwhile, millions of consumers of ham and bacon, many of them children, are left unprotected. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about this controversy is how little public outrage it has generated. Despite everything, most of us still treat bacon as a dear old friend.

In an ideal world, we would all we eating diets lower in meat, processed or otherwise, for the sake of sustainability and animal welfare as much as health. But in the world we actually live in, processed meats are still a normal, staple protein for millions of people who cant afford to swap a value pack of frying bacon for a few slivers of Prosciutto di Parma. Around half of all meat eaten in developed countries is now processed, according to researcher John Kearney, making it a far more universal habit than smoking.

The real victims in all this are not people like me who enjoy the occasional bacon-on-sourdough in a hipster cafe. The people who will be worst affected are those many on low incomes for whom the cancer risk from bacon is compounded by other risk factors such as eating low-fibre diets with few vegetables or wholegrains. In his book, Coudray points out that in coming years, millions more poor consumers will be affected by preventable colon cancer, as westernised processed meats conquer the developing world.

Last month, Michele Rivasi, a French MEP, launched a campaign in collaboration with Coudray demanding a ban of nitrites from all meat products across Europe. Given how vigorously the bacon industry has fought its corner thus far, a total ban on nitrites looks unlikely.

But there are other things that could be done about the risk of nitrites in bacon, short of an absolute veto. Better information would be a start. As Corinna Hawkes points out, it is surprising that there hasnt been more of an effort from government to inform people about the risks of eating ham and bacon, perhaps through warning labels on processed meats. But where is the British politician brave enough to cast doubt on bacon?

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/01/bacon-cancer-processed-meats-nitrates-nitrites-sausages

YouTuber Who Claimed Veganism And Faith Cured Her Cancer Dies Of Cancer

A Youtuber who claimed that veganism, faith, and juicing cured her cancer has died of cancer.

Mari Lopez ran YouTube channel Liz & Mari with her niece Liz Johnson, where they explained how Mari “was healed from stage 4 cancer by God through faith”. In the videos, which have received hundreds of thousands of views, the two claim that Mari used “juicing, poultices, alkaline & hydrogen water throughout her healing process” after she was guided to by God.

This guidance saw her go on a 90-day juice diet, which she said removed inflammation from her body, despite leaving her feeling “horrible” and like she had the flu. “It’s over, it is done with, I am healed. I feel it in my spirit and in my body,” she said.

Sadly, Mari passed away in December after her breast cancer spread to her liver, lungs, and blood.

Now her niece is claiming that Mari would have lived if she hadn’t begun eating meat again and microwaving food.

 

In a video titled Stage 4 Cancer Natural Transformation, Mari told her followers “God told me I had to change my diet.” 

She describes how she was being bombarded with information about cancer, something cancer patients will be all too familiar with. Her niece explains in a new video that Mari had already been through chemotherapy once, as well as having a double mastectomy, and did not want to do it again, which led her to choose a raw vegan diet and juicing.

Towards the end of her life, however, Mari realized that she was going to die of her breast cancer and asked her niece to remove the videos from YouTube, The Independent reports.

Instead, Liz has kept the videos up, even claiming in a new one it was eating meat again and using a microwave to heat food – things that Liz’s mom, who was caring for Mari, did – that caused complications in the cancer.

“[M]y mom would cook her things using the microwave […].I feel like that’s what caused the issues.”  Liz told Babe, insisting she stood by these claims despite the lack of evidence suggesting any link.

Of course, changing to a healthy diet if you didn’t already have one gives your body the best sporting chance to fight an illness, but this should be alongside the recommended medical treatment, not instead of. And the danger in making these misinformed pronouncements on a platform like Youtube is that other people will hear claims like “I recovered from cancer with this [juicing] machine,” and follow suit, resulting in what may have been preventable deaths.

Macmillan, the cancer support group, recommends a balanced diet for cancer patients, as well as taking whatever treatment is recommended to you by a physician. If you are concerned about your diet they suggest that doctors or nurses can refer you to a dietician.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/youtuber-who-claimed-veganism-and-faith-cured-her-cancer-dies-of-cancer/

No More Lonely Nights When Our Plans Dont Go As We Intended

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”~Proverbs 19:21 

Less than a month ago—straight out of the clear blue sky—you announced you were going to, “Go the way of Paul McCartney…”

I don’t think there’s another soul on Earth who would have instinctively, intuitively, instantly understood the shorthand of your meaning when you said that, but I immediately knew.

We picked up on the finer subtleties of each other’s nuances for 35 years in the way that most couples do. I knew exactly what you meant. Gosh—we could’ve won a lot of money on a game show.

You went on to explain yourself anyway…

I don’t want to spend anymore nights away from you.”

You were tired of traveling with your job. You loved your work, but half of the restaurants you supervised were in other cities and you were weary of spending too many lonely nights at The Holiday Inn Express telling me good-night over the phone.

You said you’d been thinking about it and you just didn’t believe in it anymore. Not for us anyway. “Life is too short,” you said.

We had often discussed the great love affair and devotion that former Beatle Paul McCartney had for his wife, Linda Eastman McCartney. Rumor has it the only night they ever spent apart was when Paul was incarcerated in Japan on drug possession charges.

We were intrigued by their rarified devotion to one another.  Especially for celebrities.  

We also discussed on many occasions how prophetically ironic it was that Paul was so committed to her since he could never have known she was destined to die so tragically and unforeseeably young from breast cancer.

Not long after you made your proclamation, you arranged for the promotion of someone younger you trusted within the company to take over those restaurants that required travel, even if that meant sacrificing a little of your influence and power in the workplace.

was surprised and yet not at all surprised. I know you were at a point in your career where you felt like you had earned the right and had nothing left to prove.

That was just a few weeks ago. We were so close to our “McCartney Plan.”  We could almost reach out and touch it.  Gracie even gifted us with a Paul and Linda McCartney Coffee Table Book for Christmas, which will forever remind me of how our love story was so similar and parallel to theirs.

Back when you traveled, you’d often fuss at me when you arrived home to find I had turned the air conditioner setting on full-blast and then plugged in our heating pad and placed it on your side of the bed to pose as my PROXY HUSBAND over there radiating pretend body heat to keep me warm.

But I was just so accustomed to a lifetime of you keeping me warm and secure at night.

Our kids always got entirely grossedout when I told people in public that you and I slept curled up around each other like a litter of newborn kittens. They were particularly offended when we referred to ourselves as spooners

Remember our first apartment? We couldn’t afford a bed AND a couch so we had a twin bed that we set up to look like a couch with throw pillows on it by day and then we slept on it at night. So basically, we slept together in a twin bed the first three years we were together.

My mom, who had the gift of prettying things up with language, called it a “Studio Bed” And, didn’t we think that sounded so chic and sophisticated?

Most of our friends were surprised we never graduated to a King sized bed all those years we were married, but I remember it like it was yesterday when we finally moved up to a Queen.  

I was kind of sad about it.

And I think we only finally relented to the call of the Queen mattress because all our darn kids insisted upon sleeping with us. We were constantly waking up with a toddler’s toe stuck inside one of our nostrils.

Anyway… I really miss you curled up around me now.  It’s truly unbearable at night. So I hope you don’t mind, but I’m running the air conditioner at full blast in February and I’m setting up my makeshift “Heating Pad Hubby” on your side of the bed.

He doesn’t snore.

He doesn’t get inadvertently tangled up in my hair.

He doesn’t reach out for me in his sleep for a snuggle.

I’m resigned that he will never croon “Baby I’m Amazed,” in my ear.

But, he does his bit to put off a little heat from your side of the bed, which works to fool me as I sleep that maybe you are still there beside me…

**Editor’s Note: Leslie’s husband was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident two weeks ago. See more from her journey of navigating grief with grace and perseverance here

Read Next On FaithIt
Crying Groom Can’t Even Look at His Bride—but When She Gets to the Altar? I’m Gushing TEARS

Read more: https://faithit.com/no-more-lonely-nights-plans-dont-go-intended/

Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents crisis pregnancy centers that discourage abortions

Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents crisis pregnancy centers that discourage abortions

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/13/abortions-near-me-google-search-results-anti-pro-life-groups-promote

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Is ‘Ready To Rock’ After Surgery Here’s Her Big ‘Fuck You’ To Cancer!

Can’t keep Julia Louis-Dreyfus down!!

On Wednesday, the Veep actress gave another update on her battle with cancer — this time posting a FAB “post-op photo” after surgery. Slaying!

Related: Kanye West FaceTimed With A Dying Fan

Take a look (below):

What great news!

Sending her lots of love on this journey.

[Image via Twitter.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-02-14-julia-louis-dreyfuz-post-surgery-cancer-photo

Dream catchers, succulents and joints: a visit to an LA cannabis shop

Catering to wealthy people, todays dispensaries aim to present the drug as part of a healthy lifestyle

Dream catchers, succulents and joints: a visit to an LA cannabis shop

Dream catchers, succulents and joints: a visit to an LA cannabis shop

Catering to wealthy people, todays dispensaries aim to present the drug as part of a healthy lifestyle

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/12/cannabis-dispensary-legal-marijuana-weed

We Took A Scientific Look At Whether Weed Or Alcohol Is Worse For You – And There Appears To Be A Clear Winner

Which is worse for you: weed or whiskey?

It’s a tough call, but based on the science, there appears to be a clear answer.

Keep in mind that there are dozens of factors to account for, including how the substances affect your heart, brain, and behavior, and how likely you are to get hooked.

Time is important, too — while some effects are noticeable immediately, others only begin to crop up after months or years of use.

The comparison is slightly unfair for another reason: While scientists have been researching the effects of alcohol for decades, the science of cannabis is a lot murkier because of its mostly illegal status.

More than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes in 2014. There have been zero documented deaths from marijuana use alone.

In 2014, 30,722 people died from alcohol-induced causes in the US — and that does not count drinking-related accidents or homicides. If those deaths were included, the number would be closer to 90,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, no deaths from marijuana overdoses have been reported, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. A 16-year study of more than 65,000 Americans, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that healthy marijuana users were not more likely to die earlier than healthy people who did not use cannabis.

Marijuana appears to be significantly less addictive than alcohol.

Close to half of all adults have tried marijuana at least once, making it one of the most widely used illegal drugs — yet research suggests that a relatively small percentage of people become addicted.

For a 1994 survey, epidemiologists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse asked more than 8,000 people from ages 15 to 64 about their drug use. Of those who had tried marijuana at least once, roughly 9% eventually fit a diagnosis of addiction. For alcohol, the figure was about 15%. To put that in perspective, the addiction rate for cocaine was 17%, while heroin was 23% and nicotine was 32%.

Shutterstock

Marijuana may be harder on your heart, while moderate drinking could be beneficial.

Unlike alcohol, which slows your heart rate, marijuana speeds it up, which could negatively affect the heart in the short term. Still, the largest-ever report on cannabis from the National Academies of Sciences, released in January, found insufficient evidence to support or refute the idea that cannabis may increase the overall risk of a heart attack.

On the other hand, low to moderate drinking — about one drink a day — has been linked with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared with abstention. James Nicholls, a director at Alcohol Research UK, told The Guardian that those findings should be taken with a grain of salt since “any protective effects tend to be canceled out by even occasional bouts of heavier drinking.”

Alcohol is strongly linked with several types of cancer; marijuana is not.

In November, a group of the nation’s top cancer doctors issued a statement asking people to drink less. They cited strong evidence that drinking alcohol — as little as a glass of wine or beer a day — increases the risk of developing both pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer.

The US Department of Health lists alcohol as a known human carcinogen. Research highlighted by the National Cancer Institute suggests that the more alcohol you drink — particularly the more you drink regularly — the higher your risk of developing cancer.

For marijuana, some research initially suggested a link between smoking and lung cancer, but that has been debunked. The January report found that cannabis was not connected to any increased risk of the lung cancers or head and neck cancers tied to smoking cigarettes.

Both drugs may be linked with risks while driving, but alcohol is worse.

A research note published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF) found that, when adjusting for other factors, having a detectable amount of THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) in your blood did not increase the risk of being involved in a car crash. Having a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.05%, on the other hand, increased that risk by 575%.

Still, combining the two appears to have the worst results.

“The risk from driving under the influence of both alcohol and cannabis is greater than the risk of driving under the influence of either alone,” the authors of a 2009 review wrote in the American Journal of Addiction.

Unsplash / Michael Discenza

Several studies link alcohol with violence, particularly at home. That has not been found for cannabis.

It’s impossible to say whether drinking alcohol or using marijuana causes violence, but several studies suggest a link between alcohol and violent behavior.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes, and a study of college students found that the rates of mental and physical abuse were higher on days when couples drank.

On the other hand, no such relationship appears to exist for cannabis. A recent study looking at cannabis use and intimate partner violence in the first decade of marriage found that marijuana users were significantly less likely to commit violence against a partner than those who did not use the drug.

Both drugs negatively affect your memory — but in different ways. These effects are the most common in heavy, frequent, or binge users.

Both weed and alcohol temporarily impair memory, and alcohol can cause blackouts by rendering the brain incapable of forming memories. The most severe long-term effects are seen in heavy, chronic, or binge users who begin using in their teens.

Studies have found that these effects can persist for several weeks after stopping marijuana use. There may also be a link between daily weed use and poorer verbal memory in adults who start smoking at a young age.

Chronic drinkers display reductions in memory, attention, and planning, as well as impaired emotional processes and social cognition — and these can persist even after years of abstinence.

Both drugs are linked with an increased risk of psychiatric disease. For weed users, psychosis and schizophrenia are the main concern; with booze, it’s depression and anxiety.

The largest review of marijuana studies found substantial evidence of an increased risk among frequent marijuana users of developing schizophrenia — something that studies have shown is a particular concern for people already at risk.

Weed can also trigger temporary feelings of paranoia and hostility, but it’s not yet clear whether those symptoms are linked with an increased risk of long-term psychosis.

On the other hand, self-harm and suicide are much more common among people who binge drink or drink frequently. But scientists have had a hard time deciphering whether excessive alcohol use causes depression and anxiety or whether people with depression and anxiety drink in an attempt to relieve those symptoms.

Unsplash/Rafael Cerqueira

Alcohol appears to be linked more closely with weight gain, despite weed’s tendency to trigger the munchies.

Weed gives you the munchies. It makes you hungry, reduces the natural signals of fullness, and may even temporarily make food taste better.

But despite eating over 600 extra calories when smoking, marijuana users generally don’t have higher body-mass indexes. In fact, studies suggest that regular smokers have a slightly reduced risk of obesity.

Alcohol, on the other hand, appears to be linked with weight gain. A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that people who drank heavily had a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Plus, alcohol itself is caloric: A can of beer has roughly 150 calories, and a glass of wine has about 120.

All things considered, alcohol’s effects seem markedly more extreme — and riskier — than marijuana’s.

When it comes to addiction profiles and risk of death or overdose combined with ties to cancer, car crashes, violence, and obesity, the research suggests that marijuana may be less of a health risk than alcohol.

Still, because of marijuana’s largely illegal status, long-term studies on all its health effects have been limited — meaning more research is needed.

Unsplash/Mattias Diesel

Read the original article on Business Insider. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2018.

Read next on Business Insider: The US cannabis industry is growing insanely fast — there are now more legal cannabis workers than dental hygienists

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/physics/we-took-a-scientific-look-at-whether-weed-or-alcohol-is-worse-for-you-and-there-appears-to-be-a-clear-winner/