(NaturalNews) If you’re someone who enjoys (over)indulging in fast food and pizza, there is more harming you than just the fare. According to new research, people who eat a lot of fast food are being exposed to 40 percent higher levels of potentially harmful chemicals, the Daily Mail Online reports.
The new study found that lovers of fast food are put at greater risk of exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals that are used to soften and increase the pliability of vinyl and plastic, which are often found in fast-food packaging.
As further reported by the Daily Mail Online:
Phthalates have been banned from children’s toys and products such as teething rings and soft books because of their potential toxic effects.
The chemicals are known to disrupt hormones and have been implicated in several illnesses and condition including asthma to autism.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is one of a very few to examine the effects of fast-food consumption and heightened exposure to phthalates.
Chemicals absorbed mostly into meats, breads
“People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 per cent higher,” said Assistant Prof. Ami Zota, of the Milken Institute School of Public Health in the United States, the study’s lead author. “Our findings raise concerns because phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults.”
Phthalates are part of a class of industrial chemicals that are used to manufacture food packaging materials, as well as tubing for dairy products and other items that are used in the fast food industry. Previous research has suggested that the chemicals can leach out of plastic food packaging and contaminate the food inside, especially if it is highly processed.
Zota and her team examined figures from 8,877 participants who responded to questions about their diet over a 24-hour period, including consumption of fast food. The study participants also gave researchers a urine sample that was tested for the breakdown of two specific phthalates, DEHP and DiNP. Researchers found that the more fast food study participants consumed, the higher their exposure to phthalates.
Indeed, study participants who ate more fast food had a nearly 24-percent higher concentration of DEHP in their urine, the Daily Mail Online reported. Also, the same high consumers of fast food had nearly 40 percent higher levels of DiNP metabolites in their urine samples than participants who had not eaten any fast food at all the previous 24 hours.
Researchers also found that grain and meat items harbored the highest concentrations of phthalates. Zota noted that the grain category included a wide variety of breads, cake, pizza, burritos, rice dishes and noodles.
She also said that other studies have identified grains as one of the biggest contributors of exposure to the potentially harmful chemical group.
In November 2012 Natural News reported that phthalates not only are harmful to our health but are found in several other common products we use everyday:
Phthalates… are found in many personal care products such as hair sprays, perfumes, nail polish, sunscreens and lotions. They are also used in medical devices, on timed release pills (where they are often part of the coating), in children’s toys and plastic food containers as well as in such products as floor and wall coverings. The new car smell, which makes owners proud, is due in part to phthalates which can escape from the plastic dashboard after sun exposure and leave a nasty coating on the inside of the windshield.
“People concerned about this issue can’t go wrong by eating more fruits and vegetables and less fast food,” said Zota. “A diet filled with whole foods offers a variety of health benefits that go far beyond the question of phthalates.”
Make sure to check out FoodForensics.com for a sneak peek of Food Forensics, the new book by Natural News Editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, which details his efforts in the laboratory to eliminate food toxins and improve public health.