For children struggling with weight, new evidence suggets that the canned vegetables their mothers ate when they were pregnant may be the culprits.
University of Missouri-Colombia professor Frederick vom Saal is about to publish a study that links bisphenol A (BPA) and childhood obesity, reports The Daily.
BPA is commonly used in the manufacturing of food packaging and plastic bottles.
“During the development of the fetus, BPA exposure alters the development of stem cells,” vom Saal told The Daily. “Think of it as tripping a switch in the DNA. BPA turns out to be a major factor in the number of fat cells that a person will have later in life.”
According to the Columbia Missourian, vom Saal, who studied neurobiology at Rutgers University earning a Ph.D. in 1976, has spent much of the last 20 years trying to prove that bisphenol A is harmful to humans.
According to vom Saal, bisphenol A acts like a synthetic estrogen and even small amounts can have a detrimental affect on a developing child.
“BPA changes genes permanently,” vom Saal said told The Daily. “It’s forever. You can’t turn nerve cells into muscle cells when you’re an adult.”
BPA has been banned in Canada, and the European Union forbids its use in the manufacture of baby bottles. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report warning about the possible efforts of BPA on fetuses, infants and children.
This week the FDA is expected to rule on whether the U.S. will ban the use of BPA in the manufacturing of food packaging.