Dining out increases exposure to harmful chemicals so you should think about cooking at home instead. Eating out may not just increase individual’s levels of sugar and fat but also teenagers who eat at restaurants may be exposed to potentially toxic chemicals such as phthalates that disrupt hormone balance and cause fertility problems, according to a study.
They also have a negative impact on birth defects in young boys, behavioral problems and obesity. Phthalates are a group of chemicals which can be found in products like hair spray, shampoo, and perfume. They are used in food packaging and processing materials and disrupt hormones in humans.
The study which included the survey of 10,000 people found that people who had eaten in restaurants and fast-food outlets had phthalate levels that were nearly 35% higher than people who ate food purchased from a supermarket, according to the research. Teenagers who were eating out had 55% higher levels of phthalates compared to those who didn’t.
“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,” said leading author of the study, Assistant Professor Ami Zota from the George Washington University.
“The main idea is that food that is made in restaurants and cafeterias may be coming into contact with materials containing phthalates in part because some portion of the food is made in decentralised locations,” says Ami Zota.
According to Professor Zota, the phthalates remains in the body for only a day so you can still switch to home-cooked meals to get immediate health benefits. The study which states that dining out increases exposure to harmful chemicals such as phthalates was published in the journal Environment International.