Burger bias puts young at risk

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The Independent Online
Young people's taste for burgers and kebabs, which may have put them at higher risk of catching Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is disclosed in new figures showing more than three times as many 16-24 year olds ate these fast foods as 50-64 year olds in 1986-87, the time when BSE-infected beef was in the food chain.

Professor Nicholas Day and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, who publish their findings in the British Medical Journal, say it is the first time that data has been assembled confirming what anyone can see on the streets any Saturday night. "We were surprised by the strength of the association," Professor Day said.

A second study showed that younger people were also more likely to eat meat pies and pasties. However, the journal says the link between BSE and the existence of new variant CJD, which has so far affected 21 young people, remains to be established.