High levels of bisphenol A increased obesity and abnormal waist circumference-to-height ratio in children, according to findings in Pediatrics.

“Manufacturers have been voluntarily recalling [bisphenol A] products due to suspicion about the toxic effects on children and other vulnerable populations,” according to background information. “Many countries, including Canada and members of the European Union, as well as several US states, are rethinking the use of [bisphenol A] and have banned [bisphenol A] use in products frequently used by infants and young children.”

The study included children aged 6 to 18 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2010) to evaluate associations between urinary bisphenol A (BPA) and measures of adiposity, cholesterol, insulin and glucose.

Researchers found an increase of obesity (BMI ≥95th percentile) with increased quartiles of BPA for quartiles one vs. two (OR=1.74; 95% CI, 1.17-2.60), three vs. one (OR=1.64; 95% CI, 1.09-2.47), and four vs. one (OR=2.01; 95% CI, 1.36-2.98). There was also an increase in the odds of having abnormal waist circumference-to-height ratio with increasing quartiles of BPA for quartiles two vs. one (OR=1.37; 95% CI, 0.98-1.93), three vs. one (OR=1.41; 95% CI, 1.07-1.87), and four vs. one (OR=1.55; 95% CI, 1.12-2.15).

“Our findings suggest the need for longitudinal analyses to elucidate temporal relationships between BPA exposure and the development of obesity and chronic disease risk factors in children, to inform future policy regulating children’s consumer products,” Donna S. Eng, MD, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues wrote.

Disclosure: The study was funded in part by the Department of Pediatrics and the Office of the Vice President of Research, University of Michigan, NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

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