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Plastic food packaging encourages obesity

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 01 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3824
  1. Clare Relton, research fellow,
  2. Mark Strong, clinical lecturer in public health,
  3. Michelle Holdsworth, senior lecturer in public health
  1. 1Section of Public Health, ScHARR (School of Health and Related Research), Faculty of Medicine, University of Sheffield
  1. c.relton{at}

The United Kingdom is at the top of the European league table for obesity in women and is in second place for men. Worryingly, the UK has more obese young people than any European country.1 The plastic packaging that encases so much of the food we buy has fundamentally altered our relationship with food to the extent that we are now constrained by poor dietary choice, just as food is imprisoned in its cellophane. Over the past 10-20 years a slow, invisible, and insidious transition has occurred: from a time when food was handled and could be smelt to one when all we can feel and smell is odour free plastic. In our supermarkets, canteens, and cafes we …

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