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_The body excretes the chemical in a matter of hours. It’s possible that the study is simply indicating that heavier kids are more likely to have recently consumed something from a BPA container.

_Only one urine sample was taken from each child, and the youngest children in the study were 6. What isn’t known is how much BPA they were exposed to when they were infants _ the time in life when the chemical theoretically could have had the greatest effect in triggering weight gain.

All this means is that the study raises some interesting questions, but at this point it’s impossible to say BPA causes childhood obesity, said Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a federal agency involved in research on BPA.

“It’s a hypothesis that needs further exploration,” she said.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, called the study speculative and noted lab animal studies that found no evidence that BPA causes obesity.

“Attempts to link our national obesity problem to minute exposures to chemicals found in common, everyday products are a distraction from the real efforts under way to address this important national health issue,” the organization said in a statement.

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Online:

JAMA: http://jama.ama-assn.org