Study shows a correlation between phthalate exposure and childhood obesity

Phthalates, chemicals commonly found in synthetic fragrances, body lotions and pliable plastic products, have been viewed with suspicion in recent years because they’ve been shown to act as endocrine disruptors.

Researchers at the Children’s Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who decided to look more closely at the effects of phthalates have found an association with obesity in young children.

Study fails to find link between obesity and junk food sold at schools

Researchers looking for a link between the availability of junk food at school and high obesity rates among 5th and 8th graders, could not find evidence that the children were influenced by the wealth of chips, candy and soda sold at school.

“We were really surprised by that result and, in fact, we held back from publishing our study for roughly two years because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn’t there,” said Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, which appears in the January issue of Sociology of Education.