A recent food-safety study by George Washington University, the first of its kind, studied the levels of Phthalates in people who reported dining out more than eating home-cooked meals. Those who dined out more were found to have nearly 35 percent higher levels of Phthalates, a group of chemicals used in food packaging and processing materials. Phthalates are said to disrupt hormones and have been linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues.
The study had 10,253 participants and information was collected between the years 2005 and 2014. Participants were asked to recall what they ate and where their food came from in the previous 24 hours. They were then asked for a urine sample, which was tested for phthalate levels. The researchers looked for links between what participants ate and the levels of phthalate break-down products found in their systems. 61 percent of participants with high phthalate levels had dined out the previous day.
The research also found that phthalate exposure was highest in teenagers, who typically consume fast food regularly. The wrap on burgers and other fast food sandwiches is a significant culprit in transferring phthalates to humans.
Click here to read more about the study and its findings.