You may remember last year’s health scare number 3,267, which found a link between snack foods, such as chips, biscuits and crisps, and cancer.
These snack foods have high levels of acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen that forms during the baking process. Acrylamide was recognized as a carcinogen in 1994 following animal studies.
Once the discovery was made, American researchers immediately came out with the estimate of 3,000 new cases of cancer a year being caused by these snack foods. The snacks were especially blamed for causing cancer of the large bowel, bladder and kidney.
Now Swedish researchers have turned these findings on their head. They compared the diets of 987 patients with cancers of the large bowel, bladder and kidney with those of 538 healthy people - and they could find no association at all with these snack foods.
So can you get out the biscuit tin in celebration? Well, these foods are pretty bad for you, anyway, but perhaps cancer is one thing they don’t cause after all.
(Source: British Journal of Cancer, 2003; 88: 84-9).