The Skinny on Kids and Plastic

As scientists continue to dig into the causes of the escalating childhood obesity epidemic researchers are honing in on yet another culprit in the battle of the bulge amongst youngsters: Plastic food wraps and containers.

Two studies that recently appeared in the journal Pediatrics make the case that substances in plastic, which have been associated with a host of other health issues, are playing a role in childhood obesity.

. One study associated the presence of a chemical known as phthalates, which are common in some plastics, with increased insulin resistance in children. Insulin resistance issues are known to play a role in childhood diabetes and obesity.

The other study found an increase in a compound known as BPA in the urine of obese children. In that study, researchers speculated it’s possible that the food sources of obese children, such as fast food containers, may play a role in the increased BPA levels and cautioned their findings don’t necessarily establish a cause and effect relationship between the substance and obesity.

Still researchers suggested avoiding using plastic containers containing the recycling numbers 3, 6 and 7, which are associated with phthalates and BPA, when feeding buying food or snacks for your kids.  And, of course, better to lay off the junk food all together.