Yes, we hate plastics! Not only is this evil material bad for our environment, over and over again the news reports the negative effects of plastic chemicals on our children’s health. From BPA to phthalates, plastics are to blame for a slew of health problems.
Now, a long term study of girls living in Harlem has linked exposure to the chemicals in plastics to childhood obesity.
Yes, plastics make kids fat, well at least there is a correlation.
Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center discovered that when phthalates are absorbed into the body and act as endocrine disruptors, obesity levels rise in mice. The East Harlem study is the first one to link endocrine disruptors ro human obesity. Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, a professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai, explains:
The heaviest girls have the highest levels of phthalates metabolites in their urine. It goes up as the children get heavier, but it’s most evident in the heaviest kids. When we say children, I’m talking about kindergarten children, we are talking about little kids. This is a problem that begins early in life.
“Growing Up Healthy in East Harlem” has been studying over last 10 years children’s health factors, including pesticides, diet, and proximity to bodegas. 40% of children living in Harlem are overweight or obese, and the study found the levels of phthalates measured in children are significantly higher than the average levels reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children across the entire United States.
Image: cliff1066 on Flickr under a Creative Commons License