Chemicals used in fast-food wrappers may be linked to weight gain, study suggests

Chemicals used in fast-food wrappers may be linked to weight gain, study suggests

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TIME (2/13) reports on a study which suggests that exposure to chemicals frequently used in fast-food wrappers “could make it harder to keep weight off after dieting.”

HealthDay (2/13, Mozes) reports, “Widely used manmade chemicals called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may undermine dieters’ attempts to maintain weight loss by slowing down the body’s metabolism, the new study” indicates. The findings were published online in PLOS Medicine.

MedPage Today (2/13, Monaco) reports that “people in the highest tertile for PFAS concentration had on average approximately 3.75 to 4.85 pounds more weight regain during the 6-24 months after initial weight loss versus those in the lowest tertile of exposure.” Notably, “this association with weight regain – seen across five types of PFAS – was most” pronounced “among women,” the study found.

This sounds like a joke right?  It’s not the package that causes weight gain, it’s the food content, right?  Well, that’s actually true.

On first look this study seems to suggest that the packaging is a risk regarding obesity- particularly in women.  What it REALLY says though is: in people who had already been successful in their weight loss through dieting, the women who used fast food items and were exposed to the packaging tended to gain weight more easily than others.  They also noticed that they tested positive for holding onto the chemicals found in the packaging.  However, the presence of those chemicals was not the CAUSE of obesity.  They were ASSOCIATED with the weight gainers.  Association is NOT causation.

We all know that fast food is not the best choice, perhaps this just gives you another reason to make better choices.

Best in Health,

Dr Bertha and the NJBI Team