Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

BPA Linked to Obesity Risk in Puberty-Age Girls

OAKLAND, Calif., June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Girls between 9 and 12 years of age with higher-than-average levels of bisphenol-A in their urine had double the risk of being obese than girls with lower levels of BPA, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

"This study provides evidence from a human population that confirms the findings from animal studies -- that high BPA exposure levels could increase the risk of overweight or obesity," said De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

BPA is used to make plastics and other materials, such as cash register receipts. It is a known endocrine disruptor with estrogenic properties. In children and adolescents, BPA is likely to enter the body primarily through the ingestion of foods and liquids that have come into contact with BPA-containing materials, Dr. Li said.

"Girls in the midst of puberty may be more sensitive to the impacts of BPA on their energy balance and fat metabolism," Dr. Li said. While BPA is still being examined, it has been shown to interfere with a body's process of relating fat content and distribution, he added.

The study -- among the first specifically designed to examine the relationship between BPA and obesity in school-age children -- was conducted in Shanghai as part of a larger national study of puberty and adolescent health.

Dr. Li and colleagues studied 1,326 male and female children in grades 4 to 12 at three Shanghai schools (one elementary, one middle and one high school). In addition to urine samples collected with BPA-free materials, they obtained information on other risk factors for childhood obesity, such as dietary patterns, physical activity, mental health and family history.

The researchers found that in girls between 9 and 12 years old, a higher-than-average level of BPA in urine (2 micrograms per liter or greater) was associated with twice the risk of having a body weight in the top 10th percentile for girls of their age in the same population.

The impact was particularly pronounced among 9- to 12-year-old girls with extremely high levels of BPA in their urine (more than 10 micrograms per liter): their risk of being overweight (in the top 10th percentile) was five times greater.

The researchers did not identify significant BPA effects in any other groups studied, including girls over 12 years of age and boys of all ages.

Among all the 9- to 12-year-old girls studied, 36 percent of those with a higher-than-average level of BPA in their urine were overweight or obese, compared with 21 percent of those with a lower-than-average level of BPA.

"Our study suggests that BPA could be a potential new environmental obesogen, a chemical compound that can disrupt the normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which can lead to obesity," Dr. Li and co-authors wrote in PLOS ONE. "Worldwide exposure to BPA in the human population may be contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic."

The PLOS ONE study is the latest in a series of studies published by Dr. Li and his colleagues examining the effects of BPA in humans:

  • Fertility and Sterility (2013): showed that male workers exposed to BPA in a chemical plant for six months or more had lower testosterone levels in their blood than with those who were not exposed to BPA in workplace.
  • Journal of Reproductive Toxicology (2011): showed that parental exposure to BPA during pregnancy was associated with decreased birth weight in offspring.
  • Birth Defects Research (Part A -- 2011): found that in-utero exposure to BPA was related to anogenital distance (the physical distance between the anus and the genitalia) in male offspring.
  • Journal of Andrology (2010): found that increasing BPA levels in urine were associated with worsening male sexual function.
  • Fertility and Sterility (2010): showed that increasing urine BPA levels were significantly associated with decreased sperm concentration, decreased total sperm count, decreased sperm vitality and decreased sperm motility.
  • Human Reproduction (2009): found that exposure to high levels of BPA in the workplace increased the risk of sexual dysfunction in men.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to researching and sourcing safer alternatives to products that may contain potentially harmful chemicals such as BPA. To that end, Kaiser Permanente's Sustainability Scorecard for Medical Products requires suppliers and manufacturers to disclose the presence of BPA in products. Most recently, the organization was able to eliminate BPA from packaging of supplemental nutrition and infant formula products.

In addition to Dr. Li, co-authors of the study were: Maohua Miao, MD, PhD, Xiaoqin Liu, MD, and Siqui Wang, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Social Science on Reproductive Health, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research and WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational Health, Shanghai; ZhiJun Zhou, MD, PhD, and Chunhua Wu, PhD, School of Public Health, Key Lab for Public Health and Safety and WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; Huijing Shi, PhD, Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; and Wei Yuan, MD, PhD, National Population and Family Planning Key Laboratory of Contraceptive Drugs and Devices, Shanghai.

The study was funded in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (#81172684).

About the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR's 550-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9.1 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:

For more information, contact:
Catherine Hylas Saunders, [email protected], 202-585-2603
Janet Byron, [email protected], 510-891-3115

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...