Chemicals in Processed and Packaged Food are Bad for Kids

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Based on a recent policy statement and technical report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for much stricter testing of food additives. They believe that a more rigorous regulation must be applied to more than 10,000 additives that are currently used for packaging food, as well as in processed foods. These additives include chemicals, flavorings and colorings.

What must be done?

The AAP’s advice to families is to try to avoid processed food as much as possible, particularly processed meat, and instead go for healthier options, such as fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit. Parents should also do their best to find alternatives to plastic.

According to the organization, the present-day evaluation process is in disagreement with the documented evidence on the effect of chemicals on human health. Dr. Leonarde Trasande, the lead author of the report and statement, mentioned that children are more susceptible to developing health problems from these additives than adults, because they eat more food, so they are more exposed to various adverse effects.

Children’s bodies are particularly sensitive to chemicals

Moreover, children’s organ systems are still developing, which means that they are especially vulnerable. In the doctor’s opinion, “there can be fundamental disruptions in various endocrine functions”, leading to manifestations in early childhood, as well as later in life.

Trasande recommends opting for wax paper instead of plastic wrap and restricting the consumption of canned foods. Another recommendation from the authors of the report would be to use stainless steel and glass instead of plastic. Also, for those who will still use plastic containers, they must make sure that they always hand-wash them properly and should try to avoid using them in the microwave.

One more piece of advice from AAP: try to stay away from plastic with the following recycling codes: 7 (bisphenols), 6 (styrene) and 3 (phthalates).

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.