A major pediatricians’ group is urging families to limit the use of plastic food containers, cut down on processed meat during pregnancy and consume more whole fruits and vegetables rather than processed food. Such measures would lower children’s exposures to chemicals in food and food packaging that are tied to health problems such as obesity, the group says.”
by Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, July 23rd, 2018
The American Academy of Pediatrics, a group of 67,000 US doctors, is raising the alarm about our chemicals interacting with our foods and the negative effects they may be having on children.
Where These Chemicals are Coming From
Chemicals originate from in many everyday objects that we generally don’t take notice of. Plastic containers are one of the biggest potential sources, along with food preservatives found in meats. When food is microwaved in a plastic container, the heat can causes chemicals in the plastic to leach into the food. Among other precautions, the AAP recommends that you:
- Use plastic alternatives like glass when serving and preparing food
- Avoid processed meats
- Wash your hands before you eat (Always relevant!)
How These Chemicals Affect Us
Many of the chemicals can have effects similar to those of naturally occurring hormones, which can disrupt the natural processes of the body’s hormonal and immune systems. For the still developing immune system of a child, this means they have the potential for experiencing any number of harmful effects, including weight gain. Considering the statistical rise of obesity and developmental disorders in children ages 6 to 19 since 1970, it’s a definite possibility that the chemicals present in our modern food products could be a major contributor.
Read more about chemicals in food and the recommendations of the American Association of Pediatrics at The New York Times.