Prenatal and childhood exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) and obesity are “significantly associated,” according to a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. BPA is a chemical used in manufacturing certain plastics and as a lining for many food and drink containers.
The new research re-affirms prior studies that demonstrate a link between obesity and BPA exposure during gestation and childhood. All these findings elevate concern, generate more questions and justify further examination into how BPA may affect our health. Studies that link BPA exposure to early puberty, neuro-developmental problems, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are additional red flags, while results from animal testing raise concerns about BPA’s contribution to breast cancer.
Lifestyle modifications are the primary interventions to address obesity, but if environmental pollutants in consumer products exacerbate the problem, more studies and stricter regulation deserve serious consideration.
Here are six ways to reduce exposure to BPA:
• avoid canned food
• use glassware instead of plastic dishes and containers
• use plastic products with a recycling symbol of 1, 2, 4 or 5
• avoid plastic products with a recycling symbol of 3, 6 or 7
• avoid plastic food containers for warm/hot foods and drinks
• don’t heat foods in plastic containers