Fast food could be making you fat in a way you never expected
Phthalates are chemicals found mostly in plastic that have been implicated for years for disrupting hormonal balance. Animal studies have shown the chemicals can be harmful to reproductive growth and development. A new study points to phthalates in fast food as a potential source of metabolic disorders including weight gain and obesity.
What researchers recently found was high levels of the chemical in the urine of people who consumed fast food. Phthaltes and BPA have also been linked to autism, asthma and the FDA classifies the plasticizer as a "probable" cancer causing agent.
Why fast foods are more dangerous than we knew
Fast foods are processed and because of that they absorb more phthalates than fresh unpackaged foods. Food handlers wear gloves and the foods are wrapped or placed in containers that contain the chemical.
Here is a list of how phthalates and BPA that leach into your fast food could be thwarting your weight loss attempts, even if you choose the healthiest of options on the menu:
- Past studies have linked the chemical to thyroid dysfunction. The chemical decreased thyroid hormone levels that can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
- A link to type 2 diabetes has also been found from higher levels of phthalates in the body. Diabetes poses a challenge for weight control and weight loss.
- In 2011 an expert panel of endocrinologists issued a statement urging control of environmental chemicals such as phthalates, citing the chemicals as a possible contributor to obesity, type 2 diabetes and more.
- The chemicals have also been linked to childhood obesity.
Why is fast food bad for you
The new study highlights the widespread exposure to phthalates and BPA in the general population . Eating fast food is another potential source of chemical exposure that was previously unknown and could be contributing to obesity and other health problems that are still being explored.
Dieters should especially take note about the importance of preparing food that is fresh. Skimping on food preparation in lieu of stopping for a supposedly healthy fast food meal could thwart the best diet plan and potentially lead to more weight gain and other health problems.