The BPA-Obesity Connection

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 09:21 AM

By David Brownstein, M.D.

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Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound that is used to make polycarbonate resin, a component of many plastics including food and beverage containers. Scientists recently examined the association between BPA concentration and body mass outcomes in children, and published their findings in the September 19, 2012, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This study examined 2,838 American children ages 6 to 19 who were randomly selected in the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that the children in the bottom 25 percent of BPA exposure were only half as likely to be obese as the other children. The article concludes that, “Urinary BPA concentration was significantly associated with obesity in . . . children and adolescents.”

Presently, two-thirds of Americans are overweight and/or obese. This study showed a direct correlation with BPA exposure and obesity in children and adolescents. BPA is found in nearly all canned foods, and was found in plastic cups and baby bottles until the Food and Drug Administration recently banned those uses.

BPA is actually stored in fat tissue, and has been shown to have hormonal (estrogenic) effects in the body. Studies show that it is associated with weight gain in rats.

However, obesity is not the only problem linked to BPA. Animal studies have also shown that BPA exposure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, breast and prostate cancer, reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, and neurological disorders.

You can minimize your exposure to BPA by limiting your ingestion of canned foods.

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