AAP guidelines–avoid certain chemicals that are added to or leach into food

Guidelines recently issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics add to “the growing body of scientific evidence indicating that certain chemicals that enter foods may interfere with the body’s natural hormones in ways that may affect long-term growth and development.”  The chemicals are either used as food additives or leach into foods from packaging and manufacturing.

Chemicals of concern include nitrates and nitrites–preservatives used mainly in meat products; phthalates–used to make plastic packaging; bisphenols–used in the lining of metal cans; and, PFCs and perchlorates–used in packaging.

Many of these chemicals “interfere with normal hormone function” and can affect brain and sex organ development, and “normal metabolic function.”

Developmental disorders in children (like learning disabilities, ADHD, and autism) have increased significantly since 1997.  Childhood obesity “has more than tripled since the 1970’s”, and diabetes in children and teenagers is also on the rise.

The AAP recommends consuming fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables rather than canned, avoiding processed meats, not microwaving food or beverages in plastic containers, using glass or stainless steel rather than plastic, avoiding plastics with recycling codes 3, 6, and 7, and more.

Read the article (Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, July 23, 2018).

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