Consuming More Fast Food Exposes Consumers To Harmful Chemicals Known As Phthalates

First Posted: Apr 18, 2016 06:10 AM EDT

A new study reveals that consuming more fast food may also add extra harmful chemicals to your diet. This is because fast food has chemicals like phthalates which are found to be toxic.

The researchers at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health said that the chemicals found in consumer-product packages and processed food are also linked to infertility, particularly to males, according to the RT report. The study was printed in the Environmental Health Perspective.

Fox News reports that the researchers collected data from the federal nutrition surveys. These were taken between 2003 and 2010. The surveys involved the diet choices of 9,000 people who reported their food intake for the past 24 hours. They also gathered their urine samples. The results showed that one-third of them consumed fast food in the 24 hours prior to their urine samples and they obtained higher levels of two phthalates namely the DiNP and DEHP.

The researchers also discovered that the more fast food consumers ate, the higher the level of exposure to phthalates. Those who consumed more fast food had 23.8percent more DEHP in their urine and about 40 percent more DiNP compared to those who did not eat fast food within 24 hours.

"People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher," said Ami Zota, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute SPH. She also said the findings raised concerns because phthalates may cause serious health problems in adults and children. She further said that these were alarming.

Phthalates such as DiNP and DEHP are also used in some production and packaging such as toys and cosmetics items. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said that phthalates are chemical plasticizers that are used in the manufacturing several kinds of plastics. The DEHP exposure may be linked to allergies in children, diabetes and negative child behavior.

Fast food is defined as kind of mass-produced food that is prepared and served quickly. It is in packaged and sold in the restaurant. In the U.S., the typical fast food includes French fries, hamburger and soft drink.


See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics