The chemicals bisphenol A and phthalates are linked to obesity and insulin resistance in adolescents in two new studies, but the findings cannot yet answer whether the hotly debated hormone-like compounds are causing the negative health effects they are linked with, experts say.
In one study, the researchers measured the levels of DEHP, a phthalate found in processed foods, in the urine of 766 adolescents ages 12 to 19. They found that teens with higher amounts of DEHP in their urine had increased rates of insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
The results held when the researchers controlled for some other risk factors for insulin resistance, such as the teens' calorie intake and weight. The researchers didn't find an association between insulin resistance and other kinds of phthalates that are found in cosmetics and personal care products such as shampoos.
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