BPA Bandwagon Off to a False Start?

BPA in Canned Foods and Obesity

Image via Indiana Public Media

It’s hard to imagine a parent of school-aged children today not remembering the BPA revolution of the early 2000’s; our realization that a chemical we barely understood was in everything from baby bottles to reusable dishes — and likely wreaking havoc on our bodies. So when a new study— one linking Bisphenol A to childhood obesity — came out earlier this week, the knee jerk reactions came as little surprise.

“BPA Free” is a label we’ve become accustomed to seeing more often than not, so when BPA rears its ugly head in our health again we’re left wondering why it’s not already been eradicated from our products entirely. If they can take it out of baby bottles, why can’t they take it out green bean cans?

This time though, the BPA bandwagon may be too quick out of the gate. While the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association drew strong parallels between the presence of BPA in the urine and prevalence of obesity among caucasian children (interestingly, the link was not found among children of other ethnicities), it failed to isolate BPA levels as a cause, rather than just a correlation.

The real story may lie in the dietary habits that result in higher levels of BPA in the urine, dietary habits — such as drinking soda, and eating processed foods from cans — that we already know cause obesity.

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Diana Prichard is a food and ag writer, and the owner of a small hog farm. She authors Righteous Bacon and can be found on Twitter.

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