According to a Norwegian study, plastic packaging—including those for food—contains chemicals that may promote weight gain. Problem: Everyone comes in contact with them several times a day.
Bottle of shower gel in the morning, pot of yogurt for breakfast, reaching for the sponge in the middle and of course the PET plastic bottle on the desk. Everyone comes into contact with plastic packaging countless times every day—and they may be partly to blame for the weight gain. As Norwegian researchers have now discovered, plastic chemicals interfere extensively with human fat metabolism. For scientists, it’s another sign for society to find a different way to tackle the environmentally harmful flood of plastics.
Laboratory analysis brought knowledge
A research group from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) examined 34 plastic products that everyone comes into contact with every day. Including food packaging and other everyday items. Of the 55,000 chemical constituents he discovered, he identified 629 substances. One in eleven already knows that they are so-called metabolism-disrupting chemicals, that is, they interfere with the human organism.environmental science and technology“Publish the study.1
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Plastic enters the human body through the skin
For a long time, science assumed that most plastic would remain in the material. This study shows that this is not the case. Many substances are very capable of “leaking” when touched and can get into the human body only by touching them, that is, through pores. In a laboratory study, the team found that a significant number of the chemicals studied promote the growth of human fat cells. The substances in these products reprogrammed the progenitor cells into fat cells, which multiplied more and thus stored even more fat. So this could mean that the plastic that is all around us indirectly promotes weight gain.
Does plastic contribute to the global problem of increasing obesity?
“It is very likely that it is not the usual suspects like bisphenol A that are causing these metabolic disorders. This means that the plastic chemicals we already know may contribute to overweight and obesity. , ” explains study first author Johannes Volker in a press release from the university.2 About two billion people in the world are overweight and the problem continues to grow. About 650 million people are considered obese. Although the reasons for this are varied, chemicals in plastic packaging can be a factor in weight gain that was not previously considered.
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Which chemicals should be avoided
According to the researchers, particularly problematic chemicals include: phthalate and bisphenols. However, the exact material of plastic is not on any list of materials. That’s why we don’t know what’s in our hands. On top of that, scientists suspect that there are many more substances that have not yet been identified that trigger the problematic effects mentioned.
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