Are plastics thwarting your best weight loss efforts? A new study from Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Environmental Health found that commonly-found toxins in plastics are linked to both general obesity and abdominal obesity. Known as Bisphenol A or BPA for short, these hormone disruptors have been primarily found in plastic, including plastic food and beverage packaging.
Harvard scientists studied the effects of BPA to see low-dose exposures of the toxin increased abdominal or general fat in humans. They were aware of previous studies showing that low-dose BPA increased obesity in rodents. The scientists assessed the urinary BPA concentrations, body mass index, and waist circumference in 2747 adult men and women ranging in age from 18 to 74.
Their findings aren’t surprising given the toxin is a known hormone and metabolism disruptor. The higher the urinary concentrations of BPA (indicating higher exposures), the more likely a person was obese and experiencing abdominal obesity. The adults with the highest amounts of BPA in their urine were 75 percent more likely to be obese than those with the lowest amounts of BPA.
They concluded that “higher BPA exposure is associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population in the United States.”