Every Hot Dog You Eat Takes 36 Minutes Off Your Life, Study Claims

A new study suggests that every time you eat a hot dog, you lose 36 minutes of your life. Research carried out by the University of Michigan School of Public Health aimed to uncover how much damage we do to our bodies by eating unhealthy food, and it seems hot dogs can really do some serious damage.

  1. The study ranked more than 5,000 foods. Each of the foods was ranked by how many minutes the average person would gain or lose from their lives by eating a single serving. As it turns out, researchers believe that even a single hot dog can mean you live half an hour less than you would have without it.
  2. It’s about bout processed meat. Why would a single hot dog be so catastrophic to your health? The study authors believe it’s because of the “detrimental effects of processed” salt, fat, and meat. There are loads of added ingredients in hot dogs that make them potentially lethal, it seems!
  3. Hot dogs weren’t the worst offenders. The worst offender on the list causes the eater to lose an average of 74 minutes of their life, while the healthiest can add up to 80 minutes. That kinda cancels each other out, right?
  4. The results aren’t exactly surprising. Processed meat like bacon, burgers, and sausages as well as sugary drinks came out the worst and contributed to the biggest loss of life. Fruits, vegetables, and healthy whole grains were rated healthiest and life-lengthening. Not exactly a shock.
  5. It’s not about plants versus animals. As the authors stated: “Previous studies investigating healthy or sustainable diets have often reduced their findings to a discussion of plant-based versus animal-based foods, with the latter stigmatized as the least nutritious and sustainable. Although we find that plant-based foods generally perform better, there are considerable variations within both plant-based and animal-based foods that should be acknowledged before such generalized inferences are warranted.”
  6. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance. Try to eat as much of the healthy stuff as possible and limit the crap and you’ll be fine.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill