It might not just be the foods teens are eating that lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes, but the wrappers and cans they come in, two studies published recently in Pediatrics suggest. In one, researchers found that higher levels of DEHP, a phthalate found in processed foods, their packaging, medical equipment, and other products, correlated strongly with greater insulin resistance, a key precursor to diabetes. The other linked the infamous-yet-ubiquitous BPA with obesity, LiveScience reports.
The DEHP link held true even after correcting for things like economic status, ethnicity, and glucose levels. "While dietary sources are likely to be the chief source of exposure, given the uses of DEHP in other products, we cannot rule out nondietary sources," researchers wrote, according to Fast Company. But both teams added that their results didn't prove causation, and one doctor commenting on the study complained that they relied on urine analysis, which isn't necessarily indicative of how much of the chemicals remained in the blood. (Read more diabetes stories.)