Stop Eating Outside to Protect Yourself From This Harmful Chemical
Adolescents who eat outside showed a 55 percent higher level of pthalates as compared to their peers who eat at home.
Adolescents who eat outside showed a 55 percent higher level of pthalates as compared to their peers who eat at home.(Photo: iStockphoto)

Stop Eating Outside to Protect Yourself From This Harmful Chemical

Who doesn’t love a quick meal on the go? It’s delicious, appetising and (mostly) cheap. Plus, it saves the added hassle of cooking or pretty much any other kind of physical effort. One takeout pasta for you too, right?

Wrong.

If you have plans of protecting your body from phthalate, a chemical found in adhesives, soaps, plastic, flooring and toys, among other things, stop eating takeaway. It has been known as a chemical which disrupts hormones in your body. Additionally, it can lead to problems like type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, asthma, breast cancer and fertility issues.

Phew! That’s a long list, isn’t it?

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So, how do you protect yourself from it, you ask?

Well, according to a recent study cited by The Guardian , one way is to stop eating at fast food outlets. Thanks to the amount of plastic used in their packaging, when scientists observed 10,253 people for levels of pthalates in their bodies, they were found to be 35 percent higher in those who had eaten out in the preceding 24 hours.

Those who had eaten outside were found to be 61 percent of the group.
Those who had eaten outside were found to be 61 percent of the group.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Those who had eaten outside were found to be 61 percent of the group. Pthalate levels were found to be high not only in people who had dined out the previous day, but also in people who belonged to the younger age group.

Adolescents who eat outside showed a 55 percent higher level of pthalates as compared to their peers who eat at home.

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Food items like burgers and sandwiches were found to be behind higher pthalate levels in the body. However, this was only when they were purchased from a fast-food outlet, restaurant or cafe, stressed the research.

Dr Ami Zota, George Washington University in Washington DC, commented on the same and said:

This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues. Our findings suggest that dining out may be an important, and previously under-recognised, source of exposure to phthalates for the US population.

Dr Zota’s research sums up the exposure of average Americans to pthalates in the following manner:

Food items like burgers and sandwiches were found to be behind higher pthalate levels in the body.
Food items like burgers and sandwiches were found to be behind higher pthalate levels in the body.
(Infographic Courtesy: MPH@GW, the online MPH program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.)

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This study emphasises the unhealthy food habits of millennials in the US, but similar trends are seen in India as well.

Making these slight lifestyle changes could perhaps go a long way in protecting you from chronic diseases.
Making these slight lifestyle changes could perhaps go a long way in protecting you from chronic diseases.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

With growing urbanisation, as more and more young people move out of their home for education and job opportunities, paying attention to their health becomes the last thing on the priority list.

This study comes as a startling reminder of the importance of clean eating, opting for more organic food sources, home-cooked food and avoiding the usage of plastic as much as possible. Making these slight lifestyle changes could perhaps go a long way in protecting you from chronic diseases.

(With inputs from The Guardian.)

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