Your Grocery Store Receipts May Be Making You Fat -- Yes, Really

woman looking at grocery receiptWe're in the midst of an obesity epidemic, in case you haven't noticed. And what might be adding to it, weirdly enough, is that thin little slip of paper you have in your hand RIGHT now. Yup, evidence continues to mount that the chemicals found in store receipts can make you gain weight.


You might have read how losing weight isn't about burning off the calories you eat. It's soooo much more complex than that and has to deal with everything from your family genes to stress to how much sleep you're getting to ... environmental pollutants.

Today, a new Scientific Statement was issued by the Endocrine Society, tying known endocrine-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) to both obesity AND diabetes -- not to mention a host of other serious medical conditions like breast and ovarian cancer. The statement urges experts to look for ways to eliminate our exposure to BPA, as well as find ways to educate the public about its dangers.

And here's where those sinister store receipts come in.

Thermal receipt paper (which turns dark when scratched) is often coated with BPA as a developer. A large amount can be transferred to your hands and absorbed rapidly into the body, mimicking, blocking, or wreaking general havoc with your body's natural hormones, and potentially altering the way your cells grow. Which isn't surprising considering that BPA was first developed as an artificial estrogen supplement. (Insert about a thousand exclamation and question marks here. Did NO scientist consider the ramifications of using BPA on objects we touch daily?!)

More from The Stir: Your Kids Are Eating These Canned Foods Loaded With BPA

In recent years, more and more evidence has come out, basically concluding "WTF? BPA is some creepy s**t!" But not much has been done to ban the stuff, and now, nearly every person on EARTH has been exposed to the endocrine-disrupting chemical.

So, until BPA is banned from that seemingly innocuous record of your transaction, here's what you can do to limit your BPA exposure when you're handling receipts:

Consider if you even need a receipt. Seriously. Is it a big deal if you don't get one at the gas station?

Have the cashier put the receipt directly into your bag, not into your hand. Once you file it away at home, wash your hands. Some stores may be able to email you receipts, which is even better.

NEVER use hand sanitizer before handling a receipt. That only helps the BPA absorb more quickly into your skin.

See what's being done in your state to ban BPA. Nothing? Not enough? Maybe you can be the one to change that.


Image via George Clerk/iStock

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