According to Dr. Leonardo Trasande, director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine, "it's not simply calories in, calories out." In fact, he says "that used to be a convenient framework for thinking about obesity, but now we know that synthetic chemicals disrupt how calories are processed and ultimately converted into protein vs. sugar vs. fat.”
The latest research shows that in addition to focusing on the types of food we’re ingesting, we should also consider how safely our found has been processed and prepared. Of course, it goes without saying that this is even more important when it comes to our children.
“Pound for pound, children eat more food and therefore have a higher level of exposure compared to us adults,” according to Dr. Leonardo Trasande, director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. “In addition, their developing organ systems are uniquely vulnerable…there can be fundamental disruptions in various endocrine functions that can manifest not only in early childhood but potentially in later life as a result of prenatal or infant exposure.”
Nitrites, nitrates, bisphenols, and phthalates are some of the chemicals that Transande is worried about. In fact, it's very concerning that they’re still allowed to be used in packaging materials, along with loads of other chemicals that could potentially cause harm to our health.
Researchers are of the opinion that such chemicals could interfere with thyroid hormones and endocrines, and that they might even affect brain development, weight levels in children and adults, and even birth weight. The American Chemistry Council is currently trying to make this framework more up to date due to the new research that has become available.
According to Dr. Maida P. Galvez, an associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, "chemicals used in everyday products need to be rigorously evaluated for their full potential of human health impacts before they are made widely available in the marketplace.”
One of the most effective ways to prevent chemicals from plastic seeping into your food is to avoid microwaving food in plastic containers. While we know not to microwave aluminum due to the risk of fire, most people typically think twice about putting plastic in there. What's more, other chemicals found in coatings and adhesives used in packaging may have an indirect adverse effect on your food, which is especially dangerous for a developing child's health.
Make sure to share this health warning with all of your loved ones.