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J Endocr Soc. 2019 Jul 25;3(9):1715-1726. doi: 10.1210/js.2019-00201. eCollection 2019 Sep 1.

Urinary Bisphenols and Obesity Prevalence Among U.S. Children and Adolescents.

Jacobson MH1, Woodward M1, Bao W2,3,4,5,6, Liu B2, Trasande L1,7,8,9.

Author information

Division of Environmental Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.
Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Obesity Research and Education Initiative, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Departments of Environmental Medicine and Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York.
NYU Wagner School of Public Service, New York, New York.
NYU College of Global Public Health, New York, New York.


Bisphenol A (BPA) has been recognized as an endocrine disrupting chemical and identified as an obesogen. Although once ubiquitous, human exposure to BPA has been declining owing to its substitution with other bisphenols. Two structurally similar substitutes, bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF), have raised similar concerns, although fewer studies have been conducted on these newer derivatives. We used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2013 to 2016 to evaluate associations between BPA, BPS, and BPF and body mass outcomes among children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years. Concentrations of BPA, BPS, and BPF were measured in spot urine samples using HPLC with tandem mass spectrometry. General obesity was defined as ≥95th percentile of the age- and sex-standardized body mass index (BMI) z-scores according to the 2000 US norms. Abdominal obesity was defined as a waist circumference/height ratio of ≥0.5. BPA, BPS, and BPF were detected in 97.5%, 87.8%, and 55.2% of urine samples, respectively. Log-transformed urinary BPS concentrations were associated with an increased prevalence of general obesity (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.32) and abdominal obesity (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.27). BPF detection (vs not detected) was associated with an increased prevalence of abdominal obesity (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.64) and continuous BMI z-score (β = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.20). BPA and total bisphenols were not statistically significantly associated with general obesity, abdominal obesity, or any body mass outcome. These results suggest that BPA substitute chemicals are correlated with obesity in contemporary children.


bisphenol A; bisphenol A replacements; bisphenol F; bisphenol S; childhood obesity; obesity

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure Summary: The authors have nothing to disclose.All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the present report or in the data repositories listed in the references.

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