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Ban the Can? continued...

William Muinos, MD, is the co-director of the gastroenterology department at Miami Children's Hospital. He reviewed the new study for WebMD. “BPA may play a role in childhood obesity,” he says.

The middle man may be all those cans of sugary soda that children and teens like to guzzle. In addition to the empty calories in these beverages, they are also in BPA-laced cans.

“Try to avoid any aluminum cans or plastic containers,” he says.

Muinos recommends non-processed foods, but notes that canned vegetables are less expensive than fresh veggies. “It is better to have vegetables in a can than Doritos,” he says.

Frozen vegetables may also be a healthier alternative than canned, he says.

More Study on BPA and Obesity Needed

“This study only shows an association, it doesn’t tell us that BPA causes obesity,” says Goutham Rao, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. But “it would be prudent advice to avoid BPA where you can.”

“People who are struggling with their weight should avoid sugary sodas and other high-calorie canned beverages,” he says. “If you are not concerned about the caloric content, this study provides another reason to cut back on soda."

As for canning the cans, not so fast, says Steven G. Hentges, PhD. He is a spokesman for the American Chemistry Council in Washington, D.C.

“Attempts to link our national obesity problem to minute exposures to chemicals found in common, everyday products are a distraction from the real efforts underway to address this important national health issue,” he says. What’s more, he says, “the study measures BPA exposure only after obesity has developed, which provides no information on what caused obesity to develop.”

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