Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The latest cause of obesity: BPA

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A new study released this week linked BPA and obesity in children. They found that obese children had more BPA in their urine than healthy weight children. While this is concerning I’m not quite sure how this has led to the conclusion that BPA may be causing obesity. It’s my understanding that BPA is akin to fat-soluble vitamins and pesticides in that it accumulates in body fat. Wouldn’t this mean that children with higher levels of body fat would be more likely to store more BPA than children with lower levels of body fat? Couldn’t the obesity be the cause of the higher levels of BPA and not necessarily the reverse? Alternatively, it could simply be that as obese children are consuming more calories than non-obese children they are consuming more BPA from foods. Basically, we can’t even say if there is causation here, let alone in which direction the causation occurs.

I don’t want to diminish the importance of limiting our exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. However, I think we need to stop trying to find one magical cause of obesity. There is not going to be just one cause of obesity. It’s possible that BPA may be a contributing factor but if we banned BPA from everything right now I’m willing to bet obesity rates would not change. Much more needs to change before we’re going to see obesity rates decline.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

One thought on “The latest cause of obesity: BPA

  1. Well, what do I know…but I agree with your comments. I’ll also bet that if you take out BPA, rates won’t change; but significantly change diet and activity levels – lifestyles – of our children and I bet rates change dramatically! I’d once heard that obesity rates really started to jump around the same time fructose hit the market (mid 80’s??) and became a staple in most of the products available in the grocery stores. If that’s true – and they’re looking to ban something – maybe that’s a place to start. In any case, we always seem to look for some sort of silver bullet to the battle against obesity when the answer is really so simple…but difficult… Again, what do I know. Thanks for the post.


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