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Abstracts of the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, August 25-28 2019, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Ultra-processed food consumption and exposure to phthalates and bisphenols in the United States: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2013-2014

J, Buckley1; H, Kim1; E, Wong1; C, Rebholz1

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Environmental Epidemiology: October 2019 - Volume 3 - Issue - p 45
doi: 10.1097/01.EE9.0000606124.66118.b4
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TPS 622: Exposure to flame retardants and plasticizers, Johan Friso Foyer, Floor 1, August 26, 2019, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Background/Aim: Consumption of ultra-processed foods, which have low nutritional quality and have been associated with poor cardiometabolic health outcomes, may increase exposure to chemicals used in food packaging and production. We assessed associations of ultra-processed food consumption with exposure to currently used phthalates and bisphenols in the general U.S. population.

Methods: Among 2,212 NHANES 2013-2014 participants, we classified items reported in a 24-hour dietary recall according to the NOVA food processing classification system and calculated the proportion of energy intake from ultra-processed foods. Urinary concentrations of mono-benzyl (MBzP), mono-(3-carboxypropyl) (MCPP), mono-(carboxyisononyl) (MCNP), mono-(carboxyisoctyl) (MCOP), and four metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) (∑DEHP) phthalates and bisphenols A, S, and F were measured in spot urine samples. We estimated percent changes in natural log biomarker concentrations per 10% higher energy from ultra-processed food in covariate-adjusted multivariable linear regression models. We also examined associations per 1% higher energy from ten ultra-processed food groups.

Results: In adjusted models, ultra-processed food consumption was associated with higher urinary MCPP, MCNP, and MCOP concentrations, but not with MBzP, ∑DEHP, or bisphenols A, S, and F. Each 10% higher energy from ultra-processed food was associated with 8.0% (95% CI: 5.6%, 10.3%) higher urinary MCOP concentrations. Sandwiches and hamburgers; French fries and other potato products; ice cream and ice pops; and sauces, dressings, and gravies were associated with higher concentrations of these three phthalate metabolites, whereas salty snacks; sweet snacks; and instant and canned soups were associated with lower concentrations. Certain ultra-processed food groups were associated with higher urinary bisphenol A (soft and fruit drinks), bisphenol F (French fries and other potato products; milk-based desserts), and bisphenol S (pizza) concentrations or lower bisphenol F concentrations (pizza).

Conclusions: Ultra-processed foods are an important source of exposure to currently used phthalates, which may contribute to adverse health outcomes associated with ultra-processed food consumption.

Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of Environmental Epidemiology. All rights reserved.