[getty src=”140666605?et=5FXgI0OFTx1SI-XsryQ-jQ&viewMoreLink=on&sig=5FLAguqHrNSAx4Eap1BsH4JB5nND5onzoVHETyvuUXQ=” width=”507″ height=”338″] This post was originally written in 2009. (Source: “the Nutrition Action Healthletter, April, 2008) Apparently it’s not WHAT you eat, it’s the container you eat it in, that’s making you fat. So postulate researchers convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who worry that the changes seen in animals exposed to BPA – the “bad” chemical in “bad” plastic containers (i.e. pop bottles, water bottles, the lining of cans used in tinned food, etc.) – may be linked to increased rates of obesity. They also wonder if this chemical could also be linked to increased rates of Type 2 diabetes, ADHD, early onset of puberty in girls, a decline in semen quality, and a host of cancers and other abnormalities. BPA is an “endocrine disruptor” and an “estrogen mimic”. Apparently BPA was first studied in the 1930’s as a synthetic estrogen for women. But there’s no conclusive evidence the same is responsible. A second panel found the opposite and faulted the first panel’s research methods (injecting BPA into mice, which is not the way adults would ingest BPA). However, one thing both panels agreed on: BPA may cause brain and behavioral disturbances in young animals. Even though the jury’s still out on what this chemical does to humans, if you are concerned, ways to reduce your exposure to BPA include:
- Avoid buying canned food;
- Don’t microwave food in plastic containers;
- Prepare or store food, particularly hot foods and liquids in glass, porcelain or stainless steel dishes or containers;
- Don’t wash polycarbonate plastic containers (#7 on the bottom of the bottle or container inside the recycling symbol – if it’s labeled at all);
- Use Tetra paks of soups, and other shelf stable products or buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
(adapted from The US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences).
It’s possible that young children and babies that are exposed to BPA may have brain and behavioral abnormalities; however this is based solely on research done on young mice.It’s possible that BPA increases the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, contributes to obesity or other health problems but other studies found no effect.“To play it safe women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, infants, young children and adolescents should try to avoid BPA.” Again, this is great advice for a pregnant woman, or the young; however for anyone older who have already been exposed, and, if this chemical does cause all the health problems mentioned, it may be too late. I guess it’s like the saying goes “when we know better, we do better” but in this case, doing better may have come too late to do any good.