Obesogens: The new ‘diet’ or ever growing health concern?

Imagine never being able to lose those lingering 15 pounds or wondering why some people are obese will others are not.  Obesogens may be the reasons why this is the case.  You are probably wondering what the heck obesogens are; I am, after reading my Women\’s Health March 2010 issue talking about how certain chemicals in food are making us fat.  Like a good student, I sought out reputable opinion from an actual researcher on the matter.  UC Irvine biologist Bruce Blumberg, who is investigating the possibility that obesity can be linked to contaminants in our food, says that obesogens are chemicals that alter our metabolism (See his mini review on obesogens here).  Stephen Perrine, author of The New American Diet says in his interview with Women\’s Health: “they [fructose, an obesogen] can interfere with leptin and trick you into thinking you’re starving right after a big meal.” So the obesogens found in BPA, pesticides found in conventionally grown foods, foods being pumped with hormones, and even chemicals in cosmetics may be the reasons why normal exercise and diet are not helping you to lose weight.  This, according to Blumberg may explain why Americans seem to be getting more and more obese, “Elsewhere, the consumption of prepackaged foods is much lower, food is grown and eaten locally, and people are far less exposed to food additives and chemicals. These are all contributing factors,” Blumberg says.

Even though the research on the effect of obesogens is a new concept and there is more evidence of them being more harmful in the budding years of life, such as the time in the womb and puberty (according to Jerrold Heindel of National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) (Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology May 2009)) doesn’t mean you cannot take action towards living obesogen-free now.  Here are a few things you can do to limit the intake of obesogens:

Storing food in glass instead of plastic

Limit pesticide by buying organic fruits and vegetables.  (See a list of produce with the highest and lowest level of pesticides)

Avoid canned foods and bottles that contain BPA

Avoid products that contain soybean oil and high-fructose corn syrup (these are two common obesogens)

Avoid farm-raised meats and fishes (Farm-raised food is more likely to be injected with antibiotics and artificial hormones)

So if you want to take a new approach to losing a little weight maybe avoiding chemicals that are adding fat to your cells is the way to do it.  Keep in mind there are other major health implications that come with obesogens and include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol; so maybe until we know EXACTLY what obesogens are doing to our bodies, we should stay away from them all together.

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