Chemical in Water Bottles Linked to Child Obesity

( – Scientists have discovered that a chemical found in water bottles could impact the health of overweight children. Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in many products and is believed to affect the body’s hormones. A study conducted by scientists in Spain looked at 100 children, with more than half of them overweight. They found that BPA has a different effect on overweight children, suggesting their gut does not have the same ability to fight off the potentially harmful chemicals than children with average weight.

Microbiologist Margarita Aguilera of the University of Granada in Spain worked on the research and said it highlights the need to understand microplastics’ impact on the human body – particularly in the gut. She added that she hopes to see global policy changes and interventions to bring down child obesity.

BPA has been part of plastic production since the 1950s. It is contained in plastics usually utilized for food storage, and inside epoxy resins, which are used to coat metals including food tins, bottle tops, water supply lines, and some dental sealants.

Medical experts often advise using non-BPA plastic and avoiding the exposure of plastic products to heat. For example, the Mayo Clinic recommends not placing plastic containers in microwaves or dishwashers and states that storing foods in porcelain or stainless steel is healthier.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has conducted extensive research on BPA and assures Americans that current levels in plastics are safe. The federal agency acknowledges that the chemical does travel from packaging into food and is therefore ingested into the body, but says standard current exposure levels are not dangerous. However, it also states that it is keeping an eye on developing research.

The Spanish study is the first to examine bisphenol A’s impact on obesity and overweight children. Research in 2022, however, labeled the chemical a leading endocrine disruptor that could be linked to adult obesity and cardiac problems.

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