A new study published June 12, 2013 in the peer-reviewed open access journal PLOS ONE finds above-average bisphenol A (BPA) levels in girls aged 9 to 12 to be associated with a higher risk of being obese (Li et a. 2013).
Li and colleagues analyzed urinary BPA levels of 1326 girls aged 4 to 12 from three Shanghai schools and compared those with above average BPA levels to those with below average BPA levels. They controlled their analysis for other risk factors for childhood obesity including dietary patterns, physical activity, mental health and family history. Only in girls 9 to 12 BPA could be associated with obesity. 36% of girls between 9 and 12 with above average BPA levels were obese, whereas only 21 percent of same aged girls with a lower-than-average level BPA were obese. De-Kun Li, epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, U.S. suggests that BPA might affect pubertal girls more strongly than other population groups, as they may be more sensitive to impacts on energy balance and fat metabolism.
Li, D.-K. et al. (2013). “Urine Bisphenol-A Level in Relation to Obesity and Overweight in School-Age Children.” ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e65399