New research links childhood obesity to common chemical
POSTED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 5:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Canned goods are often go-to foods for busy parents trying to get a healthy meal on the table quickly, but a chemical used to prevent corrosion in the lining of cans and some plastics called Bisphenol-A, or BPA, may be making children fat.
Dr. Leonardo Trasande of the NYU School Of Medicine led a study that found kids with the highest concentrations of BPA in their systems were twice as likely to be obese.
The effect was found only in white children and teens.
"Childhood obesity is definitely mostly the product of unhealthy diet and poor physical activity, but increasingly we're understanding that environmental chemicals also play a role," Dr. Trasande says.
A statement from the American Chemistry Council points to other research that suggests: "because of the way BPA is processed in the body, it is very unlikely that BPA could cause health effects at any realistic exposure level."
Another new report, this one from the non-profit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, projects skyrocketing obesity rates by the year 2030 if the country continues to widen at its current pace.
The report indicates obesity is a problem in every single state, though some communities are starting to take control of the issue by transforming school lunches and building safe, family-friendly parks and other open spaces.