Plastic consumer products may increase obesity

, because it’s cheap. At the same time, plastic products contain thousands of different chemicals, which can affect the body


“Our experiments suggest that conventional plastic products contain a mixture of substances that may be an associated and underappreciated factor behind overweight and obesity.” Martin Wagner, an associate professor in NTNU’s Department of Biology.

In this new study, 34 different plastic products were used in the lab to see what chemicals they contained. Products used in daily life such as Yogurt containers, water bottleand kitchen sponges.

The researchers then found more than 50,000 different chemical components in these products and identified 629 chemicals. Eleven of these 629 chemicals are known to interfere with metabolism, and they are called chemicals that disrupt metabolism.

Experts for a long time believed that most plastic chemicals would stay in the material, but recent research shows that Plastic products leak large amounts of chemicals and can enter the body.

Previous research has also shown that some plastic products contain endocrine disrupting chemicals that can affect development and fertility. Now it seems they may also affect metabolism.

Chemicals from a third of plastic products investigated in the new study under laboratory conditions were found to contribute to fat cell growth.

These chemicals reprogrammed the progenitor cells to become fat cells that proliferate and accumulate more body fat.

Only some plastic products contain these metabolic-disrupting chemicals. This means that currently unidentified plastic chemicals also interfere with the way the body stores fat and contribute to fat.
Overweight and obesity are the most common causes of deadly diseases such as heart-related diseaes and cancer. They can also increase susceptibility to various infections and magnify their effects.

Around the world, about two billion people are overweight and about 650 million of them are obese. The problem is getting bigger. The reasons behind obesity are complex, but chemicals found in plastic may be a contributing factor that we haven’t considered before.

These chemicals include phthalates and bisphenol, but new research shows that there are many other substances that cause these problematic effects.

How to reduce plastic consumption at home?

  • Avoid products wrapped in cellophane and look for other eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Store leftovers with a silicone lid instead of a plastic one.
  • Upcycle glassware instead of plastic containers.
  • Avoid tea bags and use a tea strainer.
  • Use reusable bags.
  • Avoid disposables and look for alternatives such as paper or cloth.

Go green and use less plastic to improve air quality.


  1. Does plastic make us fat? – (
  2. Chemicals in plastic can contribute to weight gain – (

Source: Medindia

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