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Study: Childhood obesity linked to food packaging chemical

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 19th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The food packaging chemical, called BPA may be tied to childhood obesity. That discovery is according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a plastics chemical used in food packaging, metal can linings and medical goods since the Sixties. Traces of the chemical can be found in most Americans.

Government officials have determined BPA to be safe in low levels. The latest study, however revealed that children with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were twice as likely to be obese than those with the lowest levels.

The study raises pertinent questions about the link between environmental chemicals and obesity. The researchers make a point that the study does not conclude that BPA causes weight gain in children.

Study author Leonardo Trasande, associate professor in pediatrics, environmental medicine, and health policy at New York University says there are far more reasons as to why children become overweight. "Clearly unhealthy diet and poor physical activity are the leading factors contributing to obesity in the United States, especially in children," he told the Associated Press.

Another study released this week projects that half of American adults will be obese by 2030. In every state, obesity would reach at least 44 percent by 2030, and over 60 percent in 13 states, predicts the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be related to:

Poor eating habits
Overeating or binging
Lack of exercise (i.e., couch potato kids)
Family history of obesity
Medical illnesses (endocrine, neurological problems)
Medications (steroids, some psychiatric medications)
Stressful life events or changes (separations, divorce, moves, deaths, abuse)
Family and peer problems
Low self-esteem
Depression or other emotional problems


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