People of America are eating out more than ever before. In comparison with the year 1970, when only 26% of food expenses were spent at restaurants, in 2014, that number increased to 44%. According to the US Department of Agriculture, over half of the entire country doesn’t like to cook. The problem is that according to some researchers from UC-Berkeley, UC-San Francisco, and the George Washington University, eating out often might actually be dangerous for our health. It seems that eating outside our houses, wherever that might be, is linked with a higher level of phthalates in our bodies.
This class of chemicals is connected to all sorts of health issues like diabetes, reduced quality of the semen, lower IQ and even cancer. It’s interesting that phthalates are not ingredients for the food, but for the plastic recipients the food usually comes in. They make plastic more flexible and sometimes, they can transfer to the food too. In order to reach this result, the researchers analyzed urine samples from over 10,000 American people taken between 2005 and 2014. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey provided them with the data they needed.
Eating out can make us sick
It seems that two-thirds of the participants had eaten out in the prior day, at least once. According to Ami Zota, who was part of the study, people who eat out more have a 35% higher phthalate percent in their bodies than those who do not. When it comes to teenagers, those who frequently ate out had a 55% higher level of phthalates in their bodies than those who ate at home.
Julia Varshavsky, the leader of this research, says that the bottom line is that people should eat fresh, less-processed foods. Everyone loves to go out to eat, and people should not be stopped form doing it. However, bigger changes need to happen and those have to do with policy and market-based solutions.
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