The Food Packaging Forum Board member and researcher at the Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Spain, Angel Nadal, discussed in the scientific journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology the weight of evidence linking Bisphenol A (BPA) contained in plastics to the etiology of obesity in humans. An epidemiological study carried out by Trasande et al. (2012) was able to support the evidence from animal studies by showing that higher urinary BPA is linked to obesity in children and adolescents. In animal studies BPA alters glucose and lipid metabolism through involvement in adipocyte differentiation. According to the researcher, Trasande’s study supports the hypothesis that this pathway is also relevant for humans. However, there remains the possibility that higher urinary levels are caused by higher consumption of canned food and subsequent higher BPA intake in obese children and adolescent.
In his opinion piece, Nadal states that “the age at exposure to BPA seems to be a critical factor”. In particular, pregnangy, infancy and puberty are sensitive windows. Nadal recommends that obese patients and their families are counseled by medical specialists “to decrease levels of exposure to endocrine disruptors”.
Nadal, A. (2012) Fat from plastics? Linking bisphenol A exposure and obesity. Nature Reviews Endocrinology.
Trasande, L. et al. (2012). Association between urinary bisphenol A concentration and obesity prevalence in children and adolescents. JAMA 308, 1113–1121.