In an article published on May 17, 2016 by the news provider Environmental Health News, journalist Brian Bienkowski reports on a new study linking prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) to increased body fat in children at age seven. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives and conducted by researchers Lori A. Hoepner and colleagues from Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.. The researchers collected and analyzed urine samples and child body composition data from 369 mother-child pairs in a New York City urban birth cohort study. BPA exposure was determined as concentrations of total BPA and its metabolites in urine samples collected during the third trimester of the mother’s pregnancy (prenatal), and from children at age three and five (postnatal). Children’s body mass index z-scores (BMIZ) were collected at five and seven years, as well as fat mass index (FMI), percent body fat (%BF), and waist circumference (WC) at seven years. Hoepner and colleagues found that prenatal urinary BPA levels were positively associated with FMI, %BF, and WC in children at age seven. The results were sex-specific: A significant association between prenatal BPA exposure and FMI and WC was found in girls, however not in boys. Further, there was no association between postnatal urinary BPA levels and child body composition.
“The evidence that prenatal BPA exposure is associated with measures of obesity in children may be an important underlying factor in the obesity epidemic,” stated Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, U.S., and senior author of the study. “Endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA may alter the baby’s metabolism and how fat cells are formed early in life,” he further added.
Brian Bienkowski (May 17, 2016). “More BPA exposure as a fetus leaves kids fatter at age 7 – NYC study.” Environmental Health News
EurekAlert (May 17, 2016). “Mom’s exposure to BPA during pregnancy can put her baby on course to obesity.”
Hoepner, L.A. et al. (2016). “Bisphenol A and adiposity in an inner-city birth cohort.” Environmental Health Perspectives (published online May 17, 2016).