Dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of potentially health-harming chemicals called phthalates in the body, said scientists from George Washington University and the University of California (US).
“The study is the first to compare phthalate exposures in people who reported dining out to those more likely to enjoy home-cooked meals. People who reported consuming more restaurant, fast food and cafeteria meals had phthalate levels that were nearly 35 percent higher than people who reported eating food mostly purchased at the grocery store, according to the study,” Public Health reported.
According to scientists, phthalates penetrate into the food, and then into the body of people from plastic used in the manufacture of packaging. They argue that the content of phthalates can be very high both in boxes with ready-made food, and in gloves used by cooks.
Phthalates are known to negatively affect female fertility, disrupt the endocrine system and undermine the body's ability to regulate the level of reproductive hormones.