Here’s A New Reason Why Eating Out Might Be Bad For Your Health, CNN, 29 March 2018
So, people who eat out a lot, especially at fast food restaurants but not only at them, were found to have higher levels of phthalates (what a word). Phthalates are endocrine disruptors; they interfere with the action of our hormones. Hormones control just about everything! Reproduction, metabolism, immunity. The Endocrine Society tells us they are at the root of diabetes, cancer, asthma, obesity, infertility, and on.
Here’s the study:
Dietary Sources Of Cumulative Phthalates Exposure Among The U.S. General Population In NHANES 2005–2014, Environmental International, March 2018
Endocrine disruptors enter our body through our skin and lungs. But the greatest path of entry is our mouth, our diet. But:
The US Food and Drug Administration monitors levels of phthalates in a number of cosmetics, it does not regulate its presence in food or beverage products.
Surprised? The food and beverage industry is not surprised. They like it that way.
What gets me is the solution given for this, “Consume more home-cooked meals.” This is a solution for the privileged. It’s not a solution for millions of people, especially those with low incomes, the elderly, the frail, the disabled, people who work away from home, e.g. truck drivers and stewards, people who are home-insecure, people who lack the time, knowledge, ability, transportation. I know I go on about this, but who doesn’t eat food that comes from a package?
Thankfully, the lead author of the study, Ami Zota, had a better solution:
“These chemicals are ubiquitous in the environment. … So, to really reduce everyone’s exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals, we need systemic changes to how our food is produced and transported, and that’s going to require changes in policy as well as market-based solutions.”
The FDA and the EPA and the Trump administration are working hard on this!