Study of the Day: Why You Should Skip Canned Food on Thanksgiving

More

Participants who consumed pre-made soup had greatly elevated levels of BPA, a chemical that has been linked to a wide variety of problems

main shutterstock_85184581.jpg

PROBLEM: Previous research has shown that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the lining of metal cans and polycarbonate bottles, interferes with reproduction in animals and may lead to diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems in humans. Few studies, however, have quantified BPA levels in people who have ingested foods that have been stored in such containers.

METHODOLOGY: Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health compared the urinary BPA concentrations of participants who consumed 12-ounce servings of canned soup for five days and participants who ate fresh soup. After a two-day cleansing period, the groups reversed their assignments.

RESULTS: Urine samples of the 75 volunteers showed that consumption of a serving of canned soup daily leads to a 1,221 percent increase in BPA concentrations. The researchers note that this elevation may be temporary and that further research is needed to quantify its duration.

CONCLUSION: Consumption of canned soup greatly increases BPA levels.

IMPLICATION: "We've known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase the amount of BPA in your body," says lead author Jenny Carwile in a statement. "This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use."

SOURCE: The full study, "Canned Soup Consumption and Urinary Bisphenol A: A Randomized Crossover Trial," is published in the Journal of the Medical Association.

Image: Ingrid Balabanova/Shutterstock.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Hans Villarica writes for and produces The Atlantic's Health channel. His work has appeared in TIME, People Asia, and Fast Company.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In