Let’s Talk About Obesogens

Diets don’t work!

In my last blog, I reviewed some compelling research on the effects of dieting on overall health. The medical community often misuses BMI to classify individuals as obese while recommending outdated weight loss strategies like “calorie in, calorie out.” Recent studies have demonstrated that this simple paradigm cannot explain the increase in obesity in the past two decades.

In 2003, a scientist named Jerry Heindel put endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the list of contributing factors to modern-day obesity. Scientists began to find a correlation between the increased use of chemicals since World War II and the rapid increase in obesity.

 

Modern Day Fat Cells

Today the average person is regularly exposed to 80,000 different chemicals and is estimated to have an average of 213 chemicals circulating in the bloodstream.
Obesogens are chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system, creating hormone imbalances and contributing to diseases like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and metabolic disorders. Obesogens activate receptors in the body that help determine what type of fat is stored. They accelerate the production of white adipose tissue or WAT. This type of fat becomes the perfect “home” for the immune system to deposit the chemicals circulating in the blood, transforming them into inflammation factories which contributes to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.

” These chemicals all increase insulin resistance and adiposity, irrespective of calories. Environmental obesogens are worse for kids than for adults.”
Dr. Robert Lustig MD
Pediatric Neuroendocrinologist

 

The Low Down on Disruptors

The good news is there are ways to reduce your exposure to obesogens AND support pathways to eliminate them from the body. The first step is to reduce your exposure to the offending chemicals.

Here are some of the biggest offenders:

 

Phthalates are a material that helps soften plastic.

Found in:

    • food packaging
    • fast food
    • beauty products
    • infant formula
    • children’s toys
    • food/ drink containers

 

PFOAs or perfluorooctanoic acid create coatings that resist heat, oil, water stains, and grease.

Found in:

    • non-stick cookware
    • microwave popcorn bags
    • water repellent clothes
    • cardboard packaging

BPA or Bisphenol A is a plastic that has been used widely for over 55 years.

Found in:

    • plastic bottles
    • food and drink containers
    • cans

Pesticides/ Herbicides are used in agriculture to reduce pest infestation that can destroy crops.

Found in:

    • fruits
    • vegetables
    • wheat
    • grains
    • oats
    • chickpeas

Polysorbate 80 is an emulsifier that helps keeps liquid mixtures stable.

Found in:

    • ice cream
    • frozen desserts
    • eye drops
    • vaccines
    • stool softeners
    • cosmetics
    • personal care products

Clean-Up In Aisle Three!

While it may seem overwhelming, reducing exposure to these chemicals with a few easy steps is relatively simple.

Download the ” Think Dirty” app here and scan your personal care and household products. This app rates items for safety and give suggestions for safer alternatives. Skin is the biggest organ and can readily absorb chemicals into the bloodstream.

Buy organic produce when possible to reduce your exposure to pesticides. Check out EWG’s list of produce to avoid, aka “dirty dozen” by clicking this link .

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Processed foods are more likely to have food additives and packaging that contains harmful chemicals.

Swap out non-stick cookware for stainless steel or cast iron. Try using glass or stainless steel drinking bottles instead of plastic. Never microwave food in plastic containers.

 

Simple changes can profoundly influence your health!

Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs as I dive into other non-diet influences on weight, metabolism, and how to support your detoxification pathways!

Angie

Hi my name is Angie Wisdom Stastny. I am a registered dietitian and lover of all things natural!

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