The English breakfast came about during the industrial revolution, whereby men would eat 3,000 calories and would have burnt them off by lunchtime. Before the 1940's, 3 in 4 people would regularly consume an English breakfast, however our times have changed. Statistics state only 1 in 4 eat a cooked breakfast on weekends and 1 in 25 eat one during the week.
The actual links to cancer are found through the high calorie content and the feature of processed meats (e.g. sausages) on an English breakfast. Not only does the high calorie/high cholesterol greatly increase the chances of an heart attack, the excess fat gained from the extra calories is linked to six different types of cancer, including bowel cancer.
Now researchers have found a link between eating processed meats and cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund has suggested eating 150grams of processed meat a day (equal to two sausages and 3 rashers of bacon) can increase the risk of bowel cancer by as much as 63%.
Although this link is not fully understood, one theory comes from the preapration of the meat. During the preparation process, chemical reactions occur, and, these in turn produce carcinogenic chemicals, for example heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydro carbons.
More studies are being conducted to verify this theory, however we are already warned of the dangers of an English Breakfast, more commonly known as an "Heart Attack On a Plate."