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Study Link Plastic Food Packaging To Diabetes


Another study has been published linking BPA to childhood obesity. Another, a separate study shows a possible connection between a widely used plasticizer and diabetes.
Both studies are to be published in the September 2013 edition of the journal Pediatrics and are currently available for free online.

The first study [PDF] investigated the relationship between levels of BPA in urine and subjects’ body mass index (BMI), as well as other chronic disease risk factors.

BPA is a chemical commonly used in food and beverage packaging in the U.S., though it has recently been banned for use in the making of baby bottles and infant formula packaging.
Researchers looked at around 3,300 Americans between the ages of 6 and 18, comparing their urinary BPA to measures of adiposity, cholesterol, insulin, and glucose. Results were adjusted for variables like demographics, tobacco exposure, and soda consumption.

They found that the children with the highest levels of urinary BPA also had better odds of being obese and of having waistlines out of proportion to the subject’s height. This study did not find a link between urinary and other chronic disease risk factors.

In general, critics of the study bring up two major objections. First, that urinary BPA levels don’t give any indication on whether BPA is actually being absorbed by any organs or tissues as it moves through the body, or if it’s moving through the body without having any effect. Second, some critics contend that the high level of obesity may be due to these people simply eating more food than others.

Earlier this summer, lawmakers in Washington introduced legislation that would phase out the use of products containing BPA, though it is unlikely to pass.