Chemical bisphenol-A, otherwise known as widely-reviled and controversial BPA, now has another bit of mud to wipe off its face. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has linked it to higher levels of obesity in kids who have more of it coursing through their bodies. While the research doesn’t conclusively say that BPA actually causes obesity, it does add to a growing heap of evidence that the stuff isn’t good for us.
The study supports the idea that there are chemicals that can be “obesogens” that muck up the body’s metabolism and make it trickier for people to lose weight, even if they’re working out and eating well, notes USA Today.
BPA is used in everything from plastic water bottles (although not in baby bottles anymore) to the linings on metal cans and coating on certain papers. In other words — it’s everywhere and most of us over age 6 have it in our bodies, says the Centers for Disease Control, at detectable levels.
This most recent study used CDC surveys of kids and teens from ages 6 to 19 and found that more than 22% of those with the very highest levels of BPA in them were obese, compared to the 10% at the lowest levels. This jives with a study last year based on CDC data that found those levels linked to BPA as well.
So how are these kids getting more BPA than others? The authors think it could be from drinking more canned soda, or perhaps just because the BPA gets stored in their fat and their levels remain high because of that.
It’s not a concrete conclusion that BPA will cause obesity, but it does add to a laundry list of reasons why we should probably avoid the stuff as much as we can.