Bisphenol-A (BPA), an industrial chemical commonly found in plastic products such water bottles and food containers, has been linked to kidney problems, cancer, and other diseases in the past.

Now, another study featured on shows a link between higher-than-average levels of BPA and obesity in adolescent girls from nine to 12 years old.

Principal investigator De-Kun Li and his team reviewed data from 1,326 male and female school children from three different Shanghai schools. Urine samples were collected, and other factors such as dietary habits, physical activity, psychological health, and family history were taken into account.

The results showed that girls who had above average BPA in their urine (two micrograms per liter or higher) doubled their chances of becoming overweight. Those with extremely high levels of BPA (more than 10 micrograms per liter) had five times the risk of becoming obese.

"Our study suggests that BPA could be a potential new environmental obesogen, a chemical compound that can disrupt the normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which can lead to obesity. Worldwide exposure to BPA in the human population may be contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic," researchers explain.

To lower your children’s risk of contamination, make sure to use only products that are marked BPA-free. It’s also important to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to help fight childhood obesity.

(Photo by Liz West via Flickr Creative Commons)

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