Directions

Ingredients

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

What kind of study was this?

This was an environmental observational study, which means that researchers took samples from the environment (here it was food from fast food restaurants) and analyzed them.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know about the levels of plastic chemicals called ortho-phthalates and DEHT in fast food. The chemicals come from packaging and food handling with plastic gloves. Such chemicals can easily leak into food and then be consumed. These chemicals have been linked to hormone and metabolic disruption in kids, as well as learning, attention, and behavioral problems.

What did the researchers actually do?

They went to the top 5 best-selling fast food chains in San Antonio, TX (where the research lab is located) and ordered the top-selling items on the menu. They took the items in their original packaging, along with a pair of plastic gloves from the restaurant, and froze them until they analyzed them for chemicals using a method called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

What did the researchers find?

Plastic chemicals were found in all the food samples. Ortho-phthalates were the most commonly detected chemicals, but DEHT had the highest levels when it was found. Burritos had the highest levels of chemicals, whereas cheese pizza and fries had the lowest.  

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Here is yet another reason to reduce fast food in your family’s diet. There are other reasons like fast food usually has poor macronutrient profiles (which means low in protein, high in carbs, and fat) and is mostly made of highly processed foods.

This study doesn’t suggest that eliminating fast food is going to eliminate these chemicals in our kids’ diets. They are likely in all plastic food packaging, including organic foods at the fanciest grocery stores. But it does highlight another reason to avoid fast food.

Original article:
Edwards, L., McCray, N.L., VanNoy, B.N. et al. Phthalate and novel plasticizer concentrations in food items from U.S. fast food chains: a preliminary analysis. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00392-8

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

Close
Theme icon

Podcast /

Content /

Nourish

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

Need another reason to cut out fast food from your family's diet? Add traces of plastic chemicals in the food to the list.

Join The Family Thrive community and download the mobile app, all for free!

JOIN TODAY

Key takeaways

1

Plastic chemicals can leak into foods through packaging and handling with plastic gloves

2

These chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption, metabolic disorders, and learning, attention, and behavioral problems

3

Researchers found them present in all fast food items they tested

Low hassle, high nutrition

Fierce Food: Easy

Fierce Food: Easy

50/50 mixes of powerful veggies and starchy favorites

Fierce Food: Balance

Fierce Food: Balance

Maximize nutrients, minimize sugar and starch

Fierce Food: Power

Fierce Food: Power

Ingredients

Kitchen Equipment

Ingredient Replacement

View replacement list (PDF)

Reading time:

3 minutes

What kind of study was this?

This was an environmental observational study, which means that researchers took samples from the environment (here it was food from fast food restaurants) and analyzed them.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know about the levels of plastic chemicals called ortho-phthalates and DEHT in fast food. The chemicals come from packaging and food handling with plastic gloves. Such chemicals can easily leak into food and then be consumed. These chemicals have been linked to hormone and metabolic disruption in kids, as well as learning, attention, and behavioral problems.

What did the researchers actually do?

They went to the top 5 best-selling fast food chains in San Antonio, TX (where the research lab is located) and ordered the top-selling items on the menu. They took the items in their original packaging, along with a pair of plastic gloves from the restaurant, and froze them until they analyzed them for chemicals using a method called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

What did the researchers find?

Plastic chemicals were found in all the food samples. Ortho-phthalates were the most commonly detected chemicals, but DEHT had the highest levels when it was found. Burritos had the highest levels of chemicals, whereas cheese pizza and fries had the lowest.  

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Here is yet another reason to reduce fast food in your family’s diet. There are other reasons like fast food usually has poor macronutrient profiles (which means low in protein, high in carbs, and fat) and is mostly made of highly processed foods.

This study doesn’t suggest that eliminating fast food is going to eliminate these chemicals in our kids’ diets. They are likely in all plastic food packaging, including organic foods at the fanciest grocery stores. But it does highlight another reason to avoid fast food.

Original article:
Edwards, L., McCray, N.L., VanNoy, B.N. et al. Phthalate and novel plasticizer concentrations in food items from U.S. fast food chains: a preliminary analysis. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00392-8

What kind of study was this?

This was an environmental observational study, which means that researchers took samples from the environment (here it was food from fast food restaurants) and analyzed them.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know about the levels of plastic chemicals called ortho-phthalates and DEHT in fast food. The chemicals come from packaging and food handling with plastic gloves. Such chemicals can easily leak into food and then be consumed. These chemicals have been linked to hormone and metabolic disruption in kids, as well as learning, attention, and behavioral problems.

What did the researchers actually do?

They went to the top 5 best-selling fast food chains in San Antonio, TX (where the research lab is located) and ordered the top-selling items on the menu. They took the items in their original packaging, along with a pair of plastic gloves from the restaurant, and froze them until they analyzed them for chemicals using a method called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

What did the researchers find?

Plastic chemicals were found in all the food samples. Ortho-phthalates were the most commonly detected chemicals, but DEHT had the highest levels when it was found. Burritos had the highest levels of chemicals, whereas cheese pizza and fries had the lowest.  

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Here is yet another reason to reduce fast food in your family’s diet. There are other reasons like fast food usually has poor macronutrient profiles (which means low in protein, high in carbs, and fat) and is mostly made of highly processed foods.

This study doesn’t suggest that eliminating fast food is going to eliminate these chemicals in our kids’ diets. They are likely in all plastic food packaging, including organic foods at the fanciest grocery stores. But it does highlight another reason to avoid fast food.

Original article:
Edwards, L., McCray, N.L., VanNoy, B.N. et al. Phthalate and novel plasticizer concentrations in food items from U.S. fast food chains: a preliminary analysis. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00392-8

What kind of study was this?

This was an environmental observational study, which means that researchers took samples from the environment (here it was food from fast food restaurants) and analyzed them.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know about the levels of plastic chemicals called ortho-phthalates and DEHT in fast food. The chemicals come from packaging and food handling with plastic gloves. Such chemicals can easily leak into food and then be consumed. These chemicals have been linked to hormone and metabolic disruption in kids, as well as learning, attention, and behavioral problems.

What did the researchers actually do?

They went to the top 5 best-selling fast food chains in San Antonio, TX (where the research lab is located) and ordered the top-selling items on the menu. They took the items in their original packaging, along with a pair of plastic gloves from the restaurant, and froze them until they analyzed them for chemicals using a method called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

What did the researchers find?

Plastic chemicals were found in all the food samples. Ortho-phthalates were the most commonly detected chemicals, but DEHT had the highest levels when it was found. Burritos had the highest levels of chemicals, whereas cheese pizza and fries had the lowest.  

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Here is yet another reason to reduce fast food in your family’s diet. There are other reasons like fast food usually has poor macronutrient profiles (which means low in protein, high in carbs, and fat) and is mostly made of highly processed foods.

This study doesn’t suggest that eliminating fast food is going to eliminate these chemicals in our kids’ diets. They are likely in all plastic food packaging, including organic foods at the fanciest grocery stores. But it does highlight another reason to avoid fast food.

Original article:
Edwards, L., McCray, N.L., VanNoy, B.N. et al. Phthalate and novel plasticizer concentrations in food items from U.S. fast food chains: a preliminary analysis. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00392-8

Enjoying this? Subscribe to The Family Thrive for more healthy recipes, video classes, and more.

Discover Nourish

See more
New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

How to Decode Your Child’s Needs Through Observing Their Movement Patterns

Podcast

How to Decode Your Child’s Needs Through Observing Their Movement Patterns

By

Alexandra Tataryn

Podcast Ep. 28: Big News Plus a Guided Meditation Just in Time for the Holidays

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 28: Big News Plus a Guided Meditation Just in Time for the Holidays

By

The Family Thrive Podcast

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

Podcast

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research Tuesday: Parenting Might Have Little to No Effect on Kids' Personalities

Podcast

New Research Tuesday: Parenting Might Have Little to No Effect on Kids' Personalities

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research Tuesday: Vitamin C supplementation boosts brain health in young adults

Podcast

New Research Tuesday: Vitamin C supplementation boosts brain health in young adults

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Crockpot Turkey Breast With Grain-Free Gravy

Podcast

Crockpot Turkey Breast With Grain-Free Gravy

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Podcast

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Podcast

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Podcast

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

Give This a Try: Get Sunlight Into Your Eyes in the Morning

Podcast

Give This a Try: Get Sunlight Into Your Eyes in the Morning

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

How to Decode Your Child’s Needs Through Observing Their Movement Patterns

Pro Perspective

How to Decode Your Child’s Needs Through Observing Their Movement Patterns

By

Alexandra Tataryn

Podcast Ep. 28: Big News Plus a Guided Meditation Just in Time for the Holidays

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 28: Big News Plus a Guided Meditation Just in Time for the Holidays

By

The Family Thrive Podcast

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

New Research Tuesday

New Research Tuesday: Plastic chemicals found in 80% of fast food samples

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research Tuesday: Parenting Might Have Little to No Effect on Kids' Personalities

New Research Tuesday

New Research Tuesday: Parenting Might Have Little to No Effect on Kids' Personalities

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

New Research Tuesday: Vitamin C supplementation boosts brain health in young adults

New Research Tuesday

New Research Tuesday: Vitamin C supplementation boosts brain health in young adults

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Crockpot Turkey Breast With Grain-Free Gravy

Recipes

Crockpot Turkey Breast With Grain-Free Gravy

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Recipes

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Recipes

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Recipes

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

By

Chef Andrew Johnson

Give This a Try: Get Sunlight Into Your Eyes in the Morning

Give This a Try

Give This a Try: Get Sunlight Into Your Eyes in the Morning

By

The Family Thrive Expert Team

Subscribe to get all the goods

Join for free
Login