Study: BPA linked to obesity risk in puberty-age girls
Girls between 9 and 12 years of age with higher-than-average levels of bisphenol-A in their urine had double the risk of being obese than girls with lower levels of BPA, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
BPA is used to make plastics and other materials, such as cash register receipts. It is a known endocrine disruptor with estrogenic properties. In children and adolescents, BPA is likely to enter the body primarily through the ingestion of foods and liquids that have come into contact with BPA-containing materials.
The researchers studied 1,326 male and female children in grades 4 to 12 at three Shanghai schools (one elementary, one middle and one high school). The researchers found that in girls between 9 and 12 years old, a higher-than-average level of BPA in urine (2 micrograms per liter or greater) was associated with twice the risk of having a body weight in the top 10th percentile for girls of their age in the same population. The impact was particularly pronounced among 9- to 12-year-old girls with extremely high levels of BPA in their urine (more than 10 micrograms per liter): their risk of being overweight (in the top 10th percentile) was five times greater. The researchers did not identify significant BPA effects in any other groups studied, including girls over 12 years of age and boys of all ages (Press Release Kaiser Permanente, 12 June 2013).