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Ten Thousand Chemicals in Food and Food Packaging: What Are These Substances Doing to Our Children?

Public health challenges related to the foods that American children eat are a not-infrequent topic of national conversation. With 38% of children either overweight or obese, the childhood obesity epidemic tends to top the list of concerns, along with related issues such as children’s fast food consumption and the damaging effects of junk food advertising.  According to a recent nationally representative survey, about 60% of the calories consumed by Americans come from “ultra-processed” foods and beverages—defined as products resulting from “several sequences of industrial processes” and including additives “used to imitate sensory properties of foods or to disguise unpalatable aspects of the final product.” Alarmingly, the survey showed that adolescents (10- to 19-year-olds) were among the biggest consumers of ultra-processed foods and that their intake of these foods increased from 2007 to 2012, rising to over two-thirds (68%) of total calories consumed.  Read more...

 

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