In a new study, researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Environmental Health found that plastic storage containers can help reduce the incidence of childhood obesity and related diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and asthma.
Researchers studied plastic storage container use by over 6,000 preschool children in the Twin Cities.
Using data from a national database, the researchers identified over 700 plastic containers for use in storage, including plastic pallets and plastic storage boxes.
The researchers used these containers to store various kinds of food and beverages in the form of plastic cups, spoons, and plates.
Researchers say that, because of the small volume of food stored in the containers, the children were able to safely handle them.
“Our study suggests that the containers provide a way for preschoolers to safely store food in their homes,” Dr. Julie Roeske, a professor of environmental health at the university, said in a news release.
“These containers may not be the most practical option for children, but we know that they are effective for some people.”
The researchers say that they hope their findings can help prevent future obesity.
The researchers note that they did not study how much plastic is actually used in the plastic containers, but they did find that many of the containers contained at least 2 pounds of plastic per child, which is a significant amount of plastic.
The research is detailed in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.