Tuesday, June 18 2013, 09:00 AM MDT
(CBS) Many studies have found the chemical BPA may be associated with potential health problems, including asthma and behavior problems in children. Now a new study finds a link between the common chemical and obesity in girls.
Like most moms, Vanessa Michel is worried about exposing her daughter Evelyn to chemicals, especially in foods.
“I want to do what's healthiest for my family and for my daughter,” says Vanessa Michel’s.
When Evelyn started eating, Vanessa started researching. She learned about BPA or bisphenol-A. The common chemical is banned in baby bottles and sippy cups but is still in some plastic containers and in the lining of cans. Now a new study from Kaiser Permanente finds girls with higher-than-average levels of BPA in their body have double the risk of being obese.
“It may actually influence the levels of hormones in our body like estrogen and testosterone that are important for maintaining healthy body weight,” says Dr. Leonardo Trasande with NYU Langone Medical Center.
Experts say children can be exposed to BPA very early in life.
“We need longer term studies going back to the womb, all the way through infancy, childhood and adolescence,” Dr. Trasande says.
Dr. Leonardo Trasande says there are ways to reduce your family's exposure to the chemical. Limit canned foods, look for products that are BPA free, and try to use glass containers, especially in the microwave.
Now 23 weeks pregnant with her second child, Vanessa says she is doing all those things.
“We avoid anything in cans—anything in an aluminum can,” Vanessa says.
She already knows the next addition to her family will be a little boy, and she wants him to be on the same healthy track.