White children exposed to high levels of bisphenol A are five times more likely to be obese than children with low levels, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study by NYU School of Medicine scientists is the first to link the chemical to obesity in children. Previous research reported links in adults and animals.
This is a great example of a health study that is consistent with studies in animals, and it also confirms what weve seen in adult populations, said Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri-Columbia biologist who studies bisphenol A (BPA) but was not part of this study. That gives the findings much greater weight and strengthens this link we keep seeing between BPA and obesity."
Traces of BPA used in some canned food and beverages, paper receipts and dental sealants, in addition to some plastic food packaging are found in virtually every U.S. adult and child.
In the study of body mass and BPA data from 2,838 youths aged 6 to 19, only white children were found to have significant increases in obesity prevalence as their BPA levels increased. Those with the highest concentrations in their urine were five times more likely to be obese than children with the lowest levels.
Black children with higher BPA levels were 1.25 times more likely to be obese than those with lower levels, which the scientists said is not statistically significant. Hispanic children had the same rates of obesity at the highest and lowest levels.
Neither Hispanic (Mexican American and other Hispanic) or non-Hispanic black children had a significantly increased risk of obesity with elevated concentrations of urinary BPA, the authors wrote in the journal article.
It is unclear why BPA levels were so strongly associated with obesity in white children.
For more, read the story at environmentalhealthnews.org.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.