Some chemical substances used in wrappers and plastic containers for food, could be contributing to the diabetes and childhood obesity, affirm new studies of Universities of New York (NYU) and Michigan , published in the Pediatrics magazine .
A study links phthalates to greater insulin resistance in children, while the other associates bisphenol A (BPA) with a high body mass index (BMI) and increasing waistlines, both due to the use of plastic containers.
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"There is a growing concern that environmental chemicals could be independent contributors to childhood diseases related to the obesity epidemic," he said. Dr. Leonardo Trasande, author of the study on phthalates and associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.
Phthalates are chemicals that are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics and vinyl. It is suspected that they are endocrine disruptors, and manufacturers have stopped using them in baby products, such as teething objects and pacifiers.
The study found that resistance to insulin in children increased along with the levels of a phthalate known as di-2-ethylhexylphthalate, or DEHP. "In particular, it is thought that they influence the genes that regulate the release of it, there are other potential mechanisms, but that is the main mechanism that concerns us."
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In the other study, the Dr. Donna Eng and her research colleagues at the University of Michigan , found that high levels of BPA in the urine were associated with an increased risk of obesity.
BPA is used to produce polycarbonate and epoxy resins for a wide variety of products. For example, aluminum cans can use a BPA coating to prevent corrosion.
It has been linked to a wide variety of health problems, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from USA UU., Has prohibited its use in baby cups, bottles, infant formula packages and other plastic containers.