BPA Exposure: Two New Studies Spotlight the Risks

shutterstock_269113469Every day our bodies come into contact with hundreds of toxins—many of which are hazardous to human health—which is why taking steps to reduce exposure in our daily lives is so important. Take Bisphenol A, for example. BPA is a chemical used to harden plastics and is still widely used in food packaging. Exposure to BPA has been linked to an array of health conditions, including brain and behavior problems as well as heart problems. Now, two new studies provide even more reason to keep an eye out for BPA.

BPA, Laziness, and Obesity: A Possible Link
Researchers from the University of Missouri recently discovered that mice exposed to BPA in the womb (along with another chemical called ethinyl estradiol) were less physically active, slept more, and had slower metabolisms when compared with those who were not exposed, all of which contribute to obesity and related conditions. Study author Cheryl Rosenfeld and her team worry that because humans come into contact with these chemicals so early and so frequently throughout life, the impact on our physical and mental health may last well into adulthood.

Is BPA on Your Child’s School Menu?
A new study out of Stanford University in California has found that children who eat school meals may be at a higher risk of BPA exposure. Researchers found that most food items available in school cafeterias come pre-packaged in cans, plastic bags, or plastic containers—all common hiding spots for BPA—and depending on what they ate, students who consumed federally funded school meals on a daily basis were more likely to have a higher BPA intake.

“Even a dose of one extra microgram per day could be a big deal,” said lead author Jennifer Hartle, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. She stressed the need for more adequate testing with regard to the risks involved with even low levels of BPA, as well as the need for schools to protect kids by limiting exposure whenever possible and offering more fresh fruits and vegetables.


No tags

3 More Reasons to Ditch the Diet Soda

shutterstock_96256037Regardless of whether or not you are trying to lose weight, experts believe drinking diet soda may do more harm than good to your body. Sugar-free beverages have been linked to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity associated with diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, as well as a decline in healthy kidney function. Here are three more reasons to ditch the diet soda:

  1. Junk Food May Be Less Tempting. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois revealed that people who drink diet or sugar-free beverages actually consume more high-calorie junk food during the day (such as fried foods, snacks, and sweets loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats)—resulting in a higher caloric intake overall. However, those who avoided diet drinks were much less likely to fill up on junk and consumed fewer daily calories on average.
  2. Healthy Foods May Be More Tempting. According to Dr. David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital, because artificial sweeteners are more potent than regular sugars on the sweetness scale, consuming too much of them might make healthier foods (such as vegetables and even fruit) seem unappealing because they don’t pack that super sweet punch. The result? You may end up eating even more junk because your body craves the complex artificial flavors. Eliminating them from your diet, on the other hand, may increase your desire for more nutritious foods.
  3. Your Gut Bacteria May Be Better Off. Scientists in Israel determined recently that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin may be changing our gut bacteria and contributing to obesity and related health conditions. When a group of young mice was fed a daily dose of water mixed with artificial sweeteners, the faux sugar solution stimulated the growth of certain microbes linked to fat storage. In addition, it delayed healthy glucose absorption, causing abnormally high blood sugar

At the end of the day, experts agree water is the healthiest choice for hydration. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of purified (filtered) water daily, and you can always add a splash of lemon or lime juice for flavorful twist!


No tags