Doctors Warn to Stop Microwaving children’s Food in Plastic Containers

It can be hard to tell what’s actually good for you and what’s not. There are so many rules, but everyone’s bodies are different, so how are you to know if dairy affects you like it affects your friend, or if carbs will really add some inches to your waistline?

“It’s not simply calories in, calories out,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. “That used to be a convenient framework for thinking about obesity, but now we know that synthetic chemicals disrupt how calories are processed and ultimately converted into protein vs. sugar vs. fat.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for stronger federal food safety requirements, warning families to avoid microwaving and dishwashing plastic containers that contain harmful chemicals.

In a report published online last week, pediatricians cited growing evidence against chemicals in food colorings, preservatives and food packaging materials.

“This report outlines not only safe and essential steps that the healthcare community can communicate to parents and families but also some steps that the FDA can take, and frankly manufacturers can take, to limit the exposures of greatest concern,” Leonardo Trasande, lead author on the policy statement and AAP Council on Environmental Health member, told USA TODAY.

So in addition to focusing on the kinds of food we’re eating, new research shows it may actually be more important to be considering the safety of our food in how it’s prepared. This is especially important when it comes to children.

“Pound for pound, children eat more food and therefore have a higher level of exposure compared to us adults,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. “In addition, their developing organ systems are uniquely vulnerable…there can be fundamental disruptions in various endocrine functions that can manifest not only in early childhood but potentially in later life as a result of prenatal or infant exposure.”

Detail of female hand while using the microwave
Source: rsedlacek

Experts believe that these chemicals and more can be disruptive to the thyroid hormones and endocrines, and may even affect brain development, obesity, and decreased birth weight. The American Chemistry Council, is pushing to get this framework updated due to it being outdated and more science coming out.

“Chemicals used in everyday products need to be rigorously evaluated for their full potential of human health impacts before they are made widely available in the marketplace,” said Dr. Maida P. Galvez, an associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

One of the best ways to prevent plastic chemicals from seeping into food is to avoid putting food in the microwave that’s in a plastic container. While we know not to microwave aluminum foil in the microwave because it can spark a fire, we don’t typically think twice about putting plastic in there, though maybe it should for a different reason. Substances in packaging such as adhesives and coatings can indirectly affect your food through its packaging and cause a negative health effect in children especially.