Scientists have found that a chemical named bisphenol A or BPA, which is a hormone disruptor is likely to increase an unborn child's risk of being obese. DNA reports that pregnant women drinking from plastic bottles could be risking their child to this chemical.
A study by Endocrine Society posted the risks of endocrine disrupting the BPA which is found in a variety of food containers, and plastic bottles too. It is also a component that is used for coatings in metal cans that prevents food from directly touching the metal surface.
More than 90 per cent of people tested in population studies had detectable levels of BPA and compounds produced when it is metabolized by the body in their urine.
Hormone leptine, which is called the 'satiety hormone', responsible for controlling appetite, was less responsive when the child was exposed to BPA. Leptin is what helps one control their hunger pangs by sending signals to the brain to suppress the appetite.
When the child is exposed to BPA, they become less sensitive to a hormone responsible for controlling appetite
- In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and 'sippy cups' as well as the use of epoxy resins in infant formula packaging.
- Research in 2011 led by Joe Braun from the Harvard School of Public Health linked early exposure to BPA to higher levels of anxiety and aggression in girls by age three.
The study's senior author, Alfonso Abizaid, noted that BPA exposure permanently altered the neurobiology in the affected mice, which made them prone to obesity as adults. It is also to be noted that environmental factors can lead to increased susceptibility to obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.