After our recent kick reading various books about green or eco-friendly living and healthy eating, (try Ominvores dilemma or Green Goes with Everything) Aviva and I have pretty much become fringe shoppers, that is we only wander around the fringes of the supermarkets, buying mostly meat, produce and dairy and almost nothing packaged. Our research has convinced us that avoid most of the chemicals that are in processed food, as well as many shampoos, soaps and other daily use products, is better for our health.
Apparently we were more right that we knew ... and its not just the food itself, research has shown that phthalates, which are chemicals that help make plastics more pliable and are used in perfumes and deodorants, can be a risk factor for obesity. Looking at the study I would not say that the data demonstrate a direct link, but the fact that the highest levels of phthalates are found in the urine of the heaviest children is a good correlation. You can see the article here, and the link to the study itself is here.
This is becoming a trend with plastics, with fears about brith defects from Bisphenol A in water bottles and the materials that make pans non-stick becoming more and more common. Just goes to show all of the new, untested technologies that make our lives easier today maybe won't be doing so 20 years from now ... and more importantly, that we should maybe pay a little more attention to everything, not just the food that goes in our bodies.