Unhealthy food affects children worse than adults which makes it an absolute necessity that care needs to be taken when it comes to the food that kids consume. The American American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested parents and pediatricians to avoid exposing children to eight chemicals that are found in food and in plastic packaging. A report published on July 23 in Pediatrics says that these chemicals may be harmful to kids owing to their smaller body size.
The report also states that pregnant women and common people should avoid prepackaged foods since there is a higher chance of them containing the deadly chemicals. Durable plastics are made of bisphenol A, or BPA which has been linked to cancer, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Preservatives and processed meats
Chemicals like nitrates and nitrites, often added to processed meats as a preservative cause fatal illness. The report also listed phthalates, which help make plastic flexible, and perfluoroalkyl chemicals, or PFCs, which are resistant to stains, grease and water, among the harmful chemicals. It is to be noted that these and other compounds have also been associated with endocrine disruption, obesity and insulin resistance – the phenomenon where cells don’t respond properly to insulin leading to it being overproduced.
The publication also reported the co-author of the study Sheela Sathyanarayana, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Washington in Seattle saying that some of the aforesaid chemicals may also have neurocognitive effects, such as increased hyperactivity in children.
“Know what they are feeding”
Proofs show only that there is correlation, not causation, between exposure and disease and scientists, are yet to test the effects of these chemicals directly on humans. To avoid these harmful chemicals, experts suggest that parents buy fresh or frozen produce and keep aside processed meats packaged in plastic or food in metal cans, which have a risk of being lined with BPA. People should also avoid putting plastic containers in the dishwasher or microwave, the team says, where heat causes the plastic to generate chemicals.
“All parents should be able to know what they are feeding their children,” Sathyanarayana told the publication.