Are Bottled Water and Canned Foods Secretly Making You Fat?
BPA Is a Known Toxin
BPA, bisphenol A. is an industrial chemical (sometimes referred to as an environmental estrogen or an endocrinal disruptor) used to make plastic food containers including, among other things, water bottles and baby bottles.
BPA is even used to line the interior of tin and aluminum cans that contain beer, soda, fruits, vegetables, processed foods, and more. The inside of some water supply lines are coated with it, too. The water supply lines are what bring water to the faucets in your home as well as those in restaurants and factories.
BPA can leach into the contents of plastic containers, containers lined in plastic, and is even more likely to do so if the container is heated, whether in a microwave or just sitting in the sun or next to a heat source.
Science Daily reports that the temperature of the contents of the container is more important than the age of the container when it comes to the likelihood of leaching toxins. The cumulative effect of this toxin on the human body is not certain, but scientists believe that there definitely is an adverse effect.
"Several states have passed legislation banning the use of BPA in reusable food and drink containers, and manufacturers are no longer allowed to use BPA-based materials in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging nationwide. Despite years of attracting national headlines, the chemical’s prevalence in common food items and packaging was largely unknown—until now. A comprehensive searchable list of items whose packaging might expose consumers to BPA is available at the EWG website (The Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization)." (Mother Jones, Erica Langston: June 2016).
BPA Is Implicated in New Research on Obesity
Most people feel that everyone is responsible for their own obesity because they do not exercise discipline and control when it comes to food and drinks. Mother Jones makes clear that industry marketing is a powerful influence on everyone, but especially on children. Everyone is not the same. Some people are better at saying no to advertising and temptation than others.
Even more importantly, the evidence is piling up. Scientific testing shows that “certain industrial chemicals in food, often at very low levels, changes the way people metabolize calories and can lead to weight gain,” (Mother Jones). These chemicals are sometimes referred to as ‘obesogens.’
While BPA is not the only harmful chemical suspected of causing health problems, it is the most common in the many different products most people use. Research has found that BPA is found in 90% of the urine samples of Americans in levels considered harmful.
BADGE: Another Toxin That Is Even More Potent to Make You Fat
Another product that is an epoxy resin made from BPA and is even more inclined to make animals and people fat is called BADGE for short (bisphenol A diglycidyl ether). Scientists say it is an even more potent obesogen than BPA and can do its damage with only 3 parts per billion!
In addition to adding fat cells and making the fat cells you already have bigger, it encourages glucose intolerance or what you may have heard called pre-diabetes. BADGE is part of what is used in the linings of aluminum and tin cans and easily breaks down into a toxin that causes fat cells when heat is present. Any heat, as with being left in a closed-up car in Texas when the outside temperature is hot and the inside temperature of the car is hotter—or when simply left in the sun shining through the window of your car or home.
It would seem there are worse things to be found in factory packed vegetables and fruits than worms, bugs, and mouse or rat feces these days.
As Tom Philpott writes for Mother Jones, this research “strongly suggests that at least some of our obesity problem stems not from personal choice but rather from decisions made behind closed doors by the food and chemical industries, which have found it profitable to put this stuff in our food containers.”
National Study of Children Finds the Link Between BPA and Obesity Affecting Only White Children
NBC News Health reports that the more BPA a child had in their urine when tested, the more likely they were to be obese. Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine says that while it is a given that poor diet and lack of exercise will contribute to a weight problem, the national study reported on in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests there is much more to obesity than those two simple things.
What may seem odd and baffles researchers is that the findings linking high BPA levels and obesity only affected white children. African American and Hispanic children seemed not to be affected. More research will obviously be done to try to understand this finding.
The study also determined that even children who were not eating more calories than required were affected as much by high BPA levels as children who were eating too many high calorie foods.
93% of people over the age of 6 in the U.S. have ‘detectable levels’ of BPA in their urine. BADGE, an epoxy resin previously discussed above is used to coat the insides of cans to prevent the leaching of metals into food. Ironically, the BADGE is itself leaching into the food and causing problems that are still being studied in order to determine exactly what affects it is having (in addition to weight gain) and how it is causing those affects.
It would seem that the best weight loss diet would be to cut out foods stored in plastic containers, or containers lined with plastic resin. Unfortunately, it is not yet known how long it takes to get all of the BPA out of a person’s system once it is in there, or if that can be done at all.