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Relationship Between Obesity and Children and Adolescents

U.S. researchers have revealed a significant association between obesity and children and adolescents with higher concentrations of urinary bisphenol A (BPA) , a synthetic chemical recently banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from sippy cups and baby bottles.

The study will appear in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, dedicated to the theme of obesity.

Using a sample of nearly 3,000 children and adolescents, ages six through 19 years, randomly selected for measurement of urinary BPA concentration, researchers of New York University examined associations between urinary BPA concentrations and body mass.

After controlling for race/ethnicity, age, poverty to income ratio, sex, serum cotinine level, caloric intake, television watching and urinary creatinine level, the researchers found children with the highest levels of urinary BPA had 2.6 times higher odds of being obese than those with the lowest measures of urinary BPA. Among the participants with the highest levels, 22.3 percent were obese compared with 10.3 percent of the participants with the lowest levels.

“This is the first association of an environmental chemical in childhood obesity in a large, nationally representative sample,” said lead investigator Leonardo Trasande. “Our findings further demonstrate the need for a broader paradigm in the way we think about the obesity epidemic.”

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