Food Packaging Dangers: First Phthalates, Now PFAS!:
Recently we told you that when you go out to eat, you sometimes get more than you bargained-for.
And that extra you got was a group of chemicals called Phthalates.
In a follow-up to that post about fast-food-eating teenagers with elevated levels,
But no actual problems yet,
Another study came up that actually shows a relationship between similar chemicals that also get on our food,
And the big problem Americans seem to have right now with their weight…
Different Chemicals, Similar Problems:
So believe it or not, there is another class of chemicals out there among the thousands,
That does very similar things to the ones from the previous article.
And these are called PFAS. -Which are like phthalates, but worse.
For now, it also looks like that’s why docs are seeing relationships here earlier.
-Because PFAS don’t just get in your body for 24 hours and leave like phthalates.
They can stay in you for YEARS.
The Non-Stick That Does Indeed Stick, To Your Ribs:
But first the weight-loss study.
So in an analysis of just over 600 people attempting to lose weight in a trial from the mid-2000s,
Researchers found that people on a variety of 4 heart-healthy diets managed to lose about 14 pounds.
And then, as with most diets, they gained some back; an average of 6 pounds.
But that’s not the interesting bit.
Because just like phthalates, PFAS are considered both a metabolism & hormone-disruptor.
-But one that is more particular to women than men.
Tough To Keep It Off, In More Ways Than One:
The researchers found that people who gained the most weight back,
Also had the highest concentrations of PFAS in their blood.
And out of those, women had the highest.
Not only that, but even among their own gender,
Women with the highest levels of PFAS gained back 4.5 pounds more than the women with the lowest levels of those chemicals in their blood.
AND: They also had the lowest Metabolism, too!
No More Theories, The Dangers Of PFAS From Food Packaging Are Real:
Now sure, the researchers didn’t A/B-Test a reduced PFAS group with the same exercise, nutrition, and calories-per-pound.
And you could also say that PFAS are just on the wrappers for fast-food,
(because for some reason, good-old Wax-Paper is no longer acceptable)
And that sedentary, obese people seem to eat the most of it not consumed by teenagers,
But other than that, it looks like pretty much a slam-dunk.
So unlike the other study, this one is not mostly an observation of what -could- happen.
It’s about something that Actually Is Happening.
The Bad News:
In addition to the fact that PFAS may be artificially-slowing some people’s thyroid-hormones & metabolism,
Making it even-harder than the already-hard prospect of losing weight,
And the fact that they can stay in your body for YEARS, not hours,
PFAS in high-doses are also associated with almost all the same health-problems as phthalates.
-Including the most serious ones.
The Less Bad News:
So although a normal person is unlikely to get the highest-doses that result in the worst problems,
Unless they’re in the vicinity of military-bases,
The Wolverine Shoe Company, specific chemical plants,
Or a fire-fighter who uses suppressant foam,
You should still Really try to avoid them as much as you can.
A few ideas on how to do that are:
1) Cook at home more
2) Try not to eat fast-food or microwave popcorn
3) Avoid stain/water-repellant products
4) Don’t use non-stick cookware
5) Don’t eat fish from the top of the food-chain
6) Get your drinking-water tested
7) Keep your hot food off plastic or anything more synthetic than ceramic dishes
Because, the 600 subjects in the clinical trial are all very-real examples of how modern chemistry like the PFAS in food-packaging may be undermining your hormones, your weight-loss goals, and ultimately your health.
Photo Credits: “Movie Poster Non-Stick (2014)”, by Flickr user junaidrao
• Source: Harvard
• More Coverage: EPA | NRDC | Branch Basics
• Source Study: PLOSMed – Perfluoroalkyl substances and changes in body weight and resting metabolic rate in response to weight-loss diets: A prospective study