Don’t panic over cancer, just eat less meat, says health officials
The Health ministry has told Kenyans not to panic over a recent report linking red meat to cancer.
“What the (World Health Organisation) report says is nothing new. Maybe the take-home message there would be moderation,”, said Medical Services Director Nicholas Muraguri.
According to the United Nations agency, sausages, ham and other processed meats can also cause cancer.
It placed processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol and tobacco.
Meat forms a big part of the Kenyan diet. It is not only part of home meals but is eaten in large quantities during celebrations, with “nyama choma” being popular.
Ms Gladys Mugambi, the head of the Nutrition and Dietetics Unit in the Health ministry, said that there is no cause for alarm as the study merely reiterated the message that has been preached by most nutritional experts on moderation.
“Many worried people have been calling me, asking what they should eat,” she said.
A look at reactions to the report on the social media showed that although there is fear among the public, many individuals said they will reduce the quantity of meat they eat.
A Facebook user, Isaiah Eads, posted: “I am not going to stop eating red meat, perhaps moderate. I will cut on all those processed stuff but these are unnecessary hysteria, will human beings feed on grass?”
Another wrote: “I would rather live for a week while eating delicious red meat than live to 90 while eating vegetables like a goat”.
Collins Baswony said: “I’ll eat red meat, smoked meat in my sandwiches, bacon and sausages for breakfast.