Friday, February 17, 2012

Chemical exposure linked to childhood obesity

Obesity is a growing
problem among children.
Growing up, many children like to to try out new cosmetic products or fragrances. Many of these products contain chemicals such as phthalates, which may be linked to childhood obesity.

According to a recent study in New York City, overweight children had higher urinary concentrations of phthalates, a trend that was not seen in normal weight children.

The relationship was evident only with one phthalate called MEP (monoethylene phthalate).

The study results are consistent with previous studies showing similar associations between the phthalate MEP and obesity in teens and women.

Experts worry about the growing childhood obesity epidemic and blame different factors, including poor diet and lack of exercise as well as exposure to environmental contaminants.

Children may be more affected by environmental pollution because their bodies and organs are still developing and they eat more, drink more and breathe more in proportion to their body size.

Phthalates can be found in many plastic products, in medical devices, food packaging, flooring, food processing equipment, personal care products (perfumes and cosmetics) and more. They can leach from these products and be inhaled, ingested or absorbed through skin.

Some phthalates have been identified as endocrine disrupting compounds that can interfere with hormones.

Source: Environmental Health News

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