Bisphenol-A, or BPA, has been linked to many problems in the developing organs of children. The FDA banned BPA in baby bottle and sippy cups due to the chemical’s link to affecting the brain, prostate gland, and behavior in children and fetuses.
Now a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows another link between BPA and children, this time showing an increase of obesity. While it is known that BPA disrupts the metabolism, the authors believe this can affect the way the body controls weight gain.
The lead author states that children are particularly to environmental chemicals precisely because their organs are still developing. Harmful exposure at an early age “can have permanent and lifelong consequences.”
New BPA Study
The study looked at nearly 3000 children between the ages of six and 19 from 2003 to 2008. They were placed in four groups based on the amount of BPA in their urine. The group with the lowest levels of BPA had a little over 10% obesity. However, the next group’s obesity levels jumped significantly. Those with the highest levels of BPA were twice as likely to be obese. One strange factor the study’s authors pointed out was that the association between BPA and obesity was concentrated in white participants, and not in other racial groups. They have no idea why right now.
There are caveats to this study. One is that proving BPA caused the children’s obesity is speculative. The only way to truly link BPA to obesity would be to load a study group up with BPA in a controlled environment, which leads to ethical problems. Even the study’s author acknowledges there may be a reverse association. That is, the obesity level of the children helps to release BPA, causing higher levels in the body. The kids may also drink high levels of canned soda or drink from plastic bottles than the thin children.
While researchers say that it’s too early to recommend parents reduce BPA levels in order to prevent an increased risk of chemically induced obesity, removing BPA as much as possible is a good thing. BPA mostly affects children who are younger than six-years-old. However, the FDA, in all its infinite wisdom, denied a petition to ban BPA brought forward by the Natural Resources Defense Council. It raises the question about who the FDA really answers to.
If you believe your child’s obesity could be tied to BPA, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area today.