Researchers say they have discovered new health risks to eating fast food.
A study published earlier this week showed that frequent eaters of quick-service restaurant fare tend to have higher levels in their bodies of phthalates, a class of industrial chemicals with potential health dangers. The amount of phthalates found in the urine of hardcore fast-food fans was at times 40 percent higher than the levels detected in less avid eaters of grab-and-go foods, according to the report’s authors, a group of scientists at George Washington University.
The researchers found that the ingredients delivering the highest levels were meat and grain. The authors noted that the data raise questions about over-indulging in bread, pizza, noodles, rice dishes and cake.
Phthalates are used in the production of some fast-food packages.
The same study was also intended to gauge levels in fast food of Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, a chemical used in quick-service packaging. Some health advocates fear that the compound might leach out of packaging and into the food.
The report noted a correlation between BPA levels and how much meat was in the research subjects’ grab-and-go food. However, it did not find a connection between overall fast-food consumption and BPA exposure.