Major Study Connects Plastic Packaging with Childhood Obesity

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A controversial compound used in plastic and aluminum containers may help cause obesity in children, according to a new study.


Researchers from New York University found a “significant” link between the amount of bisphenol A (BPA) in young people’s urine and the number of those overweight.


The study also discovered that white children exposed to high levels of BPA are five times more likely to be obese than children with low levels of the chemical in their system.


The research results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), are the first to link BPA to overweight children.


“This is the first association of an environmental chemical in childhood obesity in a large, nationally representative sample,” lead investigator Leonardo Trasande told “We note the recent [Food and Drug Administration] ban of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, yet our findings raise questions about exposure to BPA in consumer products used by older children.”


Their data revealed that children and teenagers with the highest levels of BPA had a 2.6 times greater chance of being obese than those with the lowest levels.


Trasande said aluminum cans containing BPA are an especially important problem that needs to be addressed, adding “the majority of BPA exposure” comes from these types of containers.


He called for removing it from aluminum cans, which manufacturers can produce using alternatives to line them.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Is the Can Worse Than the Soda? Study Finds Correlation Between BPA and Obesity (

BPA Linked To Obesity in White Children (by Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News)

Association Between Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration and Obesity Prevalence in Children and Adolescents (by Leonardo Trasande, Teresa M. Attina and Jan Blustein, JAMA)

FDA Bans BPA in Baby Bottles, after Chemical Industry Follows California’s Lead (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Ken Broder, AllGov)

Can of Del Monte Green Beans Sets Toxic BPA Record (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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