Common plastics found in products such as shampoo bottles, drink bottles, yogurt containers, and kitchen sponges could be a reason for weight gain, according to a new study.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Wednesday, detected 11 chemicals found in common plastics that were determined to cause weight gain by stalling the metabolic process.
Most plastics contain what the study refers to as MDCs or metabolism-disrupting chemicals, which researchers said can cause weight gain. The study found them in about one-third of the plastics they studied.
Researchers suggest that their study proves that the chemicals used in packaging are absorbed by consumers that use them and, in this case, have been linked to weight gain by changing stem cells into fat cells, which multiply in the body to create more fat.
“It’s very likely that it is not the usual suspects, such as Bisphenol A, causing these metabolic disturbances,” Johannes Völker, the first author of the study, who is affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Biology, said in a statement.
“This means that other plastic chemicals than the ones we already know could be contributing to overweight and obesity.”
In other studies, plastic chemicals have been linked to hormone defects, miscarriages, diseases, birth defects, and cancer.
“Our experiments show that ordinary plastic products contain a mix of substances that can be a relevant and underestimated factor behind overweight and obesity,” Martin Wagner, associate professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Biology and one of the study’s authors, said.
Based on the results of their study, which looked at 34 different plastic products, researchers suggest that it may be unregulated chemicals in plastics products that are the cause for the increase in obesity rates around the world.
The researchers wrote, “Our study demonstrates that daily use plastics contain potent mixtures of MDCs and can, therefore, be a relevant yet underestimated environmental factor contributing to obesity.”
They also mentioned that about 2 billion people in the world are overweight, with approximately 650 million falling into the obese category.
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