In an article published on April 15, 2016 by The Washington Post, journalist Roberto A. Ferdman reports on a recent study finding a positive association between fast food consumption and exposure to phthalates (FPF reported). Roughly one-third of the nearly 9,000 study participants indicated to have eaten fast food within the 24 hours prior to urine sample collection. People with the highest fast food consumption had increased levels of phthalate metabolites in their urine as compared to non-consumers.
“The more machinery, plastic, conveyor belts, and various forms of processing equipment that food touches, the more likely the food is to contain higher levels of phthalates,” Ferdman explains. “Anything that’s gone through some form of processing or industrial packaging is vulnerable,” he further writes.
Amy R. Zota, lead author of the study, hopes that “this study helps raise public awareness about the exposure problems associated with our industrialized food system.” Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, U.S., adds that fast food is “too high in calories and salt and, as we now know, the chemicals that get into our food supply through industrial food production.”
Roberto A. Ferdman (April 15, 2016). “Researchers have found a ‘striking’ new side effect from eating fast food.” The Washington Post
Zota, A.R. et al. (2016). “Recent fast food consumption and bisphenol A and phthalates exposures among the U.S. population in NHANES, 2003–2010.” Environmental Health Perspectives (published online April 13, 2016).