Is Our Go-To Mac and Cheese Snack Unusually Toxic?

From organic based to the blue box brand, mac and cheese is the go-to snack for most American consumers. But though America’s favorite processed cheese food is what every family serves, the food also serves up a hefty amount of phthalates. Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are considered to interfere with the body’s hormones, and are possibly dangerous to pregnant women and children.  Which, yikes—sounds bad.

However, scientists haven’t been able to weigh in on the study methods, designs, conclusions, or dosage for that matter. So, there is no accepted threshold for how many phthalates you need to consume before they harm you.

“There’s really no dose that we know that will lead to significant health effects,” said Sheela Sathyanarayana, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Sathyanarayana noted that she had not run the numbers herself yet, but commented that one would probably need to eat multiple boxes a day to start seeing clear negative health effects.

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Singal, J. (2017). You (Probably) Don’t Need to Worry About the Chemical in Your Macaroni and Cheese. New York Media LLC.

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