Nutrition WHO’S Got Us Running Scared

WHO’S Got Us Running Scared


By Carrie Burrows

“WHO’s in the news again?”

“I don’t know, WHO?”




“WHO’s in the news.”

“Yes, WHO.”

OK, I’m so sorry I just did that to you. The World Health Organization (WHO) just fired a shot at meat eaters everywhere and even took on the most beloved Internet food of all: bacon.

Oh no, they didn’t.

Oh yes, they did. The WHO has now added bacon to their list or carcinogens and ranked it in the same category as cigarettes and Asbestos.

Is nothing sacred?

What did bacon do to the World Health Organization!

To be fair, it isn’t just bacon, it’s processed meat. Processed, cured and smoked to be exact.

Where to begin with this and what does it have to do with runners?

This is just one more fear-mongering tactic with pseudo science (in my opinion), which with some cleverly written headlines has taken the web and newscasts by storm. This is butter all over again. Years ago butter was the devil and margarine was the best alternative that many people ran to for protection from the evil butter bar! You all know how that one has played out. Butter is the king and margarine has been compared to one chemical element away from plastic.

Ever runner has had someone, even Dr’s say to them:

“You’re running too much”

“Running ruins your joints”

“Running shortens your life”

Gaahhhh, fear mongering at its finest.

To put bacon and its processed meat friends into the same category as tobacco and Asbestos is madness. To make blanket statement that running is (fill in the blank with the negative ideals of someone else) is like saying it has the same as extreme sports.

The WHO wants people to be aware, I get that. As a nutritionist and trainer, I want people to eat healthy but this is one more thing that adds confusion. So many people in society have thrown their arms up in the air and said, “Forget it, I will eat what I want because I don’t understand any of it and I don’t know who to trust.”

Will this announcement change anything…nope. I think people will eat more bacon and hot dogs just to be defiant.

Confusion by those in authority is what is hurting our society.

Health “professionals” who don’t know or understand the big picture actually hurt people. What happened to the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm” ? It has been replaced with; “WHOever has the most money to sway these “studies” wins.

Fellow runners, eat responsibly.

Eat a balanced diet. It will make you a better runner.

It is the simple principle of, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

You know what I mean. I’ve eaten decadent meals and gone for a run the next day. I’ve been slow, sluggish and feel down right icky. When our diet is on point our runs and training are representative of that.

I’ve met all kinds of runners; paleo runners, carb-loading runners, vegan, bacon/butter eating runners, fast-food runners.

The commonality with them? They all run. They do what works for them. It might not be “right” but they are running and being active so I high five them for that!

We can all be better with our diets/nutrition

To eat bacon or not to eat bacon? That is the question…

The answer: GO RUN!