Friday, February 15, 2013

Health Risks Associated with Microwave Popcorn

Everyone loves the smell of freshly popped popcorn, but did you know there are several health concerns surrounding microwave popcorn? Not only is microwave popcorn high in calories, fat, and sodium, but is now linked to infertility, cancer, and lung disease. But before you give up your favorite snack, please note that there are healthier and safer alternatives such as the EZ Popcorn from Viatek Consumer Products Group.

Diacetyl, used to flavor popcorn's artificial butter has been shown to cause lung disease among several workers in popcorn factories. According to the New York Times, when diacetyl is heated it becomes a vapor. When inhaled over a long period of time, diacetyl enters the small airways of the lungs causing them to become swollen and scarred. "Sufferers can breathe in deeply, but they have difficulty exhaling. The severe form of the disease is called bronchiolitis obliterans or 'popcorn workers lung' which can be fatal." (

53 year old, Wayne Weston of Colorado discovered with the guidance of Dr. Cecile Rose, a lung specialist from the National Jewish and Medical Research Center in Denver, Colorado, that his microwave popcorn habit may have been the cause of his health problems. Weston told Dr. Rose that he had eaten microwave popcorn at least twice a day for ten years. "When he broke open the bags, after the steam came out, he would often inhale the fragrance because he liked it so much," Dr. Rose said. "That's heated diacetyl, which we know from the workers' studies is the highest risk." (

To support her hypothesis, Rose conducted studies at Weston's home by measuring the levels of diacetyl in the air after he made popcorn. She soon discovered that the levels of the chemical were similar to those in microwave popcorn plants and advised him to stop eating microwave popcorn.

Although he was initially upset he had to give up his favorite snack, he followed her advice. Six months later, Weston had actually lost 50 pounds and his lung function not only stopped deteriorating, but improved. While there is not definitive casual link between the two, Dr. Rose concludes that it raises a lot of questions.

Eating microwave popcorn however, is not believed to be harmful. The real danger comes from the fumes given off in the cooking process. So what do you do if you love microwave popcorn but do not want to expose yourself to risk? The EZ Popcorn Maker from Viatek Consumer Products Group allows you to pop healthy jumbo popcorn without the dangerous chemical diacetyl. What's more, the EZ Pop is manufactured with FDA food grade plastic which does not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans.

Not only is the EZ Pop a safer alternative, but a healthier alternative. Unlike microwave popcorn bags, the EZ Pop allows you to control the amount of butter and salt you use, eliminating extra calories and harmful chemicals.

Suggested retail of the EZ Popcorn is $9.99 and can be purchased at


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