Chemicals Used in Food Packaging Tied to Obesity and Diabetes in Children
DEHP Linked to Diabetes
- DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate) is a phthalate that is commonly used to soften plastic to create food packaging and food containers (i.e. Tupperware).
- Plastic products containing DEHP will be marked with a number 3 on its recycling mark.
- A study looked at over 766 individuals of ages 12 through 19 over a five year period. The study found that those with higher levels of DEHP had a higher risk of insulin resistance.
- Fewer than 15 percent of participants with the lowest one-third of DEHP levels were insulin resistant.
- This is compared to 22 percent in those with the highest levels of DEHP.
- According to Dr. Leonardo Trasanda, pedatrician at New York University, DEHP may influence how the body secretes insulin and, as such, warns against parents using containers containing the chemical.
- Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
BPA Linked to Obesity
- A second study analyzed nutrition data through 2010 to study BPA (Bisphenol-A) levels in the urine of 6 to 18 year-olds and how these levels correlated to other health measurements.
- In an analysis of 3,770 adolescents, higher BPA levels were linked to obesity.
- Children with the highest 25 percent of BPA levels were twice as likely to meet the obesity cutoff.
- BPA is often used to line aluminum cans.
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