A few years ago we saw (what is now) a controversial Pixar movie where the human cartoon characters, living in a space ship in the future, were so obese, they moved around in little transporters and when they fell over they could not right themselves. Today there is a “new” area of scientific research we all should be applauding as it looks into environmental chemicals and how they affect our life before and after birth. These new chemicals are called Obesogens and scientists tell us they change the way human bodies store fat and do not permit your body to know when it is “full” possibly contributing to today's obesity epidemic.
What are Obesogens?
A simple explanation of what and where obesogens are from by TV's Dr. Oz :
How they work
By mimicking the actions of naturally occurring hormones in our bodies or preventing the hormones we produce from acting correctly, endocrine disruptors can:
- Encourage the body to store fat and re-program cells to become fat cells.
- Prompt the liver to become insulin resistant, which makes the pancreas pump out more insulin that turns energy into fat all over the body.
- Prevent leptin (a hormone that reduces appetite) from being released from your fat cells to tell your body you are full.
Where you find Obesogens
The short answer: everywhere, particularly because high fructose corn syrup, which can be found in every kind of food, from sodas to yogurt to pretzels, is an obesogen. The ubiquitous, viscous sweet stuff makes your liver insulin resistant and tampers with leptin to increase your hunger, setting up a vicious cycle where you crave more food that is then more easily turned into fat.
Obesogen Chemical products to avoid today
- BPA – See CAP article Time for a Change and buy or store food in glass containers not cans
- Corn Syrup – this one is difficult to avoid as corn syrup is used extensively in our “food” today.
- Pesticides – Try organic foods and / or grow your own! See CAP article DDT and Other POPS in use Today
- PCB's – that is Polychlorinated biphenyl may also cause cancer
- PVC – plastics in your home and in your clothes. See Wikipedia on Polyvinyl Chloride
- Toxic Phthlates –used in many products from childrens toys, paints and food and may affect your child's growth.
- Soy products – especially for babies and young children. See CAP article to see soy products and lots of other chemicals in your produce
“The tide is turning ...
Over the past few years, acceptance of obesogens has grown,
and it’s now possible to get funding for research.
It’s an idea whose time has come.”
~ Quote from Dr. Bruce Blumberg,
University of California, Irvine
This subject and the information available is very complex, and research is ongoing. Please check out the links and references throughout this article to help understand this complicated topic. All the answers are not in ~ but living a well balanced lifestyle by consuming organic products, avoiding the chemicals listed above and adopting a "Live Simply" philosophy, is a good place to start to protect your family, and perhaps generations to come.
Because of my biases towards living a Simpler Lifestyle
and health implications of the food we eat and the environment we live in,
I don't understand why this information is not
"Daily Headline News. Read All About It."
It's always a good time to make some positive changes to your family's Lifestyle. All the best.
Links & References
- Dr. Bruce Blumberg, Biologist, article “Big on Obesogens
- Obesogens from Wikipedia
Dr. Oz link on obesogens and a very comprehensive definition of obesogens "We blame weight gain on eating too many burgers and burning too little fat, but scientists are discovering that chemicals we’re exposed to everyday could be a big part of the obesity epidemic. Called obesogens, or endocrine disruptors, these natural and man-made chemicals work by altering the regulatory system that controls your weight—increasing the fat cells you have, decreasing the calories you burn, and even altering the way your body manages hunger."
- Are chemicals making us Fat – Globe and Mail article on obesogens
- Hormone Disrupters and Obesogens from Rodale
- More Health Canada summit news warns of childhood obesity epidemic
- Chemicals in Food which make us fat
- Tinned soup releases BPA - Harvard
- High Fructose corn syrup linked to obesity and disease from Wikipedia
- PAN Pesticides Database on Phthlates
- Obesity and Cancer connection
- The Economic costs of obesity (US health care)
Noxious substances from which modern foods are made.