Style & ShowbizHealth

Fast food packing increases chemicals in body

HealthBy Sunday World
Fast food packing increases chemicals in body

Fast food lovers, listen up - it isn't just the food itself that's bad for you, as new research has found the packaging is just as damaging to your health.

Those who tuck into burgers, pizzas and other fast foods are exposed to 40 per cent higher levels of potentially harmful chemicals, with a study finding phthalates - chemicals that make vinyl and plastic soft and flexible - in the wrapping of food. These toxins are already banned in kid's toys and products like teething rings because of their ability to disrupt hormones.

Phthalates have even been found in illnesses and conditions like autism and asthma.

Lead author Assistant Professor Ami Zota, of Milken Institute School of Public Health in the United States, quizzed 8,877 participants about their diets over the past 24 hours, including fast food consumption. Those involved in the study also provided urine samples to be tested for phthalates DEHP and DiNP.

After analysing results it was discovered those who ate more fast food had higher levels of chemicals, with those who ate the most holding 23.8 per cent higher levels of DEHP's breakdown product in their sample.

Fast food eaters also had nearly 40 per cent higher levels of DiNP metabolites in their sample.

"People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 per cent higher," Doctor Zota said of the results, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

"Our findings raise concerns because phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults."

On top of these conclusions, the researchers discovered meat items and grain were the biggest contributions to phthalate exposure, with the former category including pizza, bread and noodles.

Women must be extra careful too, as other studies have linked DEHP and DiNP to damaging the reproductive system and potentially causing infertility.

Cover Media