There's no avoiding the fact that childhood obesity is on a rapid rise. The increase is often attributed to our lazy lifestyles and over-abundance of food, but researchers are saying there has not been a dramatic enough change in diet and exercise in the last few decades to account for such a drastic rise.
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Researchers are now focusing on environmental triggers, called obesogens. These are things in our environment that can turn on obesity genes. A recent study in China confirmed the findings of an earlier study performed in the US. The study showed a correlation between obesity and levels of the chemical BPA in the urine of girls 9 to 12. The more BPA, the greater the risk of obesity. BPA is a chemical found in plastics and the lining of cans. The relationship between the chemical and weight was only found in girls in this specific age group, leading researchers to believe the BPA may be interfering with hormonal processes, as BPA mimics estrogen.
What I find pretty disconcerting is that the FDA has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups (which I appreciate), but it's still allowed to be used in food packaging. Using food that is packaged in boxes, BPA-free cans, or sticking with fresh foods is one way to help cut down on BPA exposure, which is especially important in babies and kids.
- By Heather Neal
For the 11 worst pre-packaged foods for kids, visit Babble!
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