Ad campaign calls on children's hospitals to stop serving #HazardousHotDogs

The Physicians Committee — a nonprofit of 12,000 physicians — said it will launch an advertising campaign next week urging children's hospitals to remove hot dogs from patient menus.

The Washington, D.C.-based committee cites a 2008 study showing hot dogs are among the foods posing the highest choking hazards for young children, as well as a 2015 study showing hot dogs are linked to high risk of colon cancer.

"To promote healing and prevent disease, children's hospitals should increase offerings of healthful, plant-based options that are popular with patients — like veggie chili and fruit smoothies," Susan Levin, director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee, said in a news release.

The committee is getting its message out through billboard advertisements going up near children's hospitals in Birmingham, Ala., Columbus, Ohio, and Jackson, Miss., all of which the committee says are considered to be in the colon cancer corridor, a group of nine states with high death rates from colorectal cancer.

The billboards feature a photograph of a girl holding a hot dog with the words "Choking Risk Now, Cancer Risk Later?", the release states. They call on viewers to "Ask your local hospital to protect patients from #HazardousHotDogs!"

The committee said children's hospitals in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Nashville, Tenn., are targeted with bus shelter ads, and in Little Rock, Ark., the 44 available buses will dsplay interior advertisements warning of #HazardousHotDogs. The #HazardousHotDogs advertisements will remain posted until March 5, 2017.

The states in the colon cancer corridor with high rates of fatalities, according to the CDC, are Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Hospitals that already exclude hot dogs from patient menus, including West Virginia University Children's Hospital in Morgantown, will not be targeted with advertisements, the committee said.


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