What are Obesogens and are they promoting weight gain? Well…our environment that we currently live in, is not so clean anymore, which can lead to a toxic overload on our bodies over time.
Obesogens are foreign chemicals that can disrupt normal development and alter our lipid homeostasis, change metabolic setpoints, interfere with hormones, fat storage, energy balance and changes in our overall appetite and satiety. All this can lead to obesity or stubborn unwanted fat. There are over 20 of obesogens that we need to watch for, that have been found to disrupt the endocrine system. Some endocrine disruptors exert their effects by turning on estrogen receptors, which may cause harmful effects in both women and men. Estrogen receptors are thought to be “promiscuous,” because they can bind to anything that looks even remotely like an estrogen (2Trusted Source).
Where do we find Obesogens?
Obesogens are found in many types of food containers, baby & water bottles, toys, plastics, cookware, cosmetics, packaged foods, canned foods, pesticides, carpets, furniture, air fresheners, conventional produce, soy, most fish and meats. The list goes on…
Below is a list of common obesogenic chemicals that may be present in your home.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been in commercial use for a long time and have been linked to obesity and many other diseases in humans. The question is out, weather low levels of BPA found in food can cause harm. Studies show that high amounts found in plastics and canned foods could cause harm with our endrocrine systems. “BPA’s structure resembles estradiol, which is the most important form of the female sex hormone, estrogen and as a result, it binds to estrogen receptors in our bodies.” (5Trusted Source).
Phthalates like BPA are endocrine disruptors, messing with hormonal balance in our bodies and contributing to increased susceptibility to weight gain. Phthalates are found in various products, including food containers, toys, beauty products, pharmaceuticals, shower curtains and paint. These chemicals can easily leach out of plastics and contaminate foods and water supply. (18Trusted Source). In a study by the CDC, most Americans tested positive for phthalate metabolites in their urine (20Trusted Source)
Atrazine is yet another obesogen that can disrupt our endrocrine system and several studies show that continual exposure can decrease metabolism and increases abdominal obesity. Studies show that high exposure can correlate with birth defects in humans (34, 35Trusted Source, 36). It is one of the most widely used herbicides in the US, but has been banned in Europe for over a decade due to groundwater contamination (33Trusted Source). Of course, correlation does not equal causation and studies are still a long way off from proving that atrazine is a significant contributor to obesity in humans.
Organotins are a class of artificial chemicals used for various industrial purposes. Some scientists believe that tributyltin and other organotin compounds can function as endocrine disruptors and contribute to obesity in humans by increasing the number of fat cells (41Trusted Source). One of them is called tributyltin (TBT) and its used as a fungicide and applied to boats and ships to prevent the growth of marine organisms. It is also used in wood preservatives and some industrial water systems. Tributyltin contaminates many lakes and coastal waters and is harmful to marine organisms, fish etc. (38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source).
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a synthetic compound used for various purposes and has been found in the blood of more than 98% of Americans. (46Trusted Source). It has been associated with various diseases in humans, including thyroid disorders, low birth weight and chronic kidney disease (47, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source, 50). PFOA’s are most often found in non-stick cookware. (45Trusted Source).
The question is, what is the best way to avoid these obesogens and live a healthy life? Well it is next to impossible to completely avoid them because they are literally everywhere in the environment today, but we can reduce our exposure to them by making smarter choices. We all know we cannot live in fear every day but we need to be more aware and begin to go back to the basics and try to understand, where our food comes from, how we eat, how we store food, what we buy and bring in the home etc.. All of us are quite busy and so we take short cuts when it comes to eating and this leads to a continual downward cycle by buying packaged goods. Right now, more than ever our Country is turning towards a more farm to table lifestyle, which is really one of the healthiest ways to eat food. Going to farmer’s markets and growing our own gardens are other great ways to eat clean organic or wild- harvested produce, poultry, fish, meats etc.. Anything plastic for the most part, should be recycled and never brought back in the home. Many manufacturers have removed toxins from their packaging but then they replace them with other mystery chemicals. Your best bet is to buy glass storage containers or glass or clean steel bottles when it comes to buying water. For many other products such as vitamin supplements and food-based powders there are quite a few companies that offer biodegradable and compostable packaging. This is great! Our company, PYBW is proud to announce that all our new products are packed in biodegradable and compostable packaging, which makes a difference for your body as well as our planet! Clean packaging equals clean food for your body. Think about it, you spend a lot of money on amazing superfoods or any food only to realize that its packaged in plastic and then over time the toxic plastic chemicals leach into the product itself. For things like cookware, you must buy clean stainless steel or cast iron. For bigger items in the home, always remember less is more. I believe all mattresses, carpets etc. should be 100% wool or cotton but I know it is hard to get rid of big- ticket items. These types of changes can be done over time.
Of course, eating healthy, exercising, getting quality sleep and avoiding stress are still the most important factors when it comes to your health. Stay healthy and Happy Holidays. Remember the best gift you can give, is the gift of health.
To read more in depth about obesogens and studies done on obesogens, check out 5 Obesogens: Artificial Chemicals That Make You Fat (healthline.com).
To shop our incredibly potent Australian Superfood collection, visit www.projectyoubewell.com