Eating Out at Restaurants May Increase Health-Related Risks

Eating out at restaurants may increase health-related risks, according to a new study.  Many restaurant meals increase individual’s intake of unhealthy sugars and fats.

Now, a new study suggests that dining out frequently risks elevated levels of potentially hazardous chemicals known as phthalates.


Phthalates are a group of harmful chemicals which can be found in hundreds of consumer products, including cosmetics, children’s toys, medical devices, and the plastics used in food processing and packaging. They are used to make plastic more flexible and durable.

These chemicals’ consumption has been associated with health problems such as birth defects among teen boys, behavioral problems, and obesity in older children and adults.

Researchers also doubt that these chemicals can damage hormones and may lead to cause fertility problems. They have linked them to asthma, cardiovascular issues, cancer, obesity, and neurological problems.

Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), collected between 2005 and 2014 from 10,253 participants. During the research, they found that the phthalate levels of participants were 35% higher in those who frequently ate at restaurants.

The main idea is that food that is made in restaurants and cafeterias may be coming into contact with materials containing phthalates in part because some portion of the food is made in decentralized locations,” said Ami Zota, a leading author on the study and environmental and occupational health’s assistant professor at George Washington University.

She added, “Most of the phthalates that are of most concern from a health perspective are plasticizers; they’re added to make plastics soft.” “They’re added to food packaging, they can be in food handling gloves, and they can be found in food tubing.”

The study research which suggests that eating out at restaurants may increase health-related risks published Wednesday in the journal Environment International.

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