Are environmental chemicals making you fat?
It may sound like a convenient excuse: it’s not my fault I’m fat, it’s all those common, everyday chemicals I unwittingly ingest through no fault of my own.
That and all the burgers, fries and milkshakes I eat on a daily basis.
But certain environmental, hormone-altering chemicals, which researchers call ‘obesogens’, may contribute to dramatic weight gain – especially when a fetus is exposed to them in the womb.
If obesogens do cause obesity, what about fatty foods?
Professor Bruce Blumberg of the University of California believes that both junk food and common environmental chemicals cause obesity, sometimes in tandem. Blumberg is quoted in The Ecologist:
The reality is both are happening. We’re being exposed to obesogens and eating bad food. So it’s a double impact. In the US we’re cutting fats yet obesity has doubled. We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing yet we are getting fatter and fatter.
The principal chemicals linked to obesity are bisphenol A, arsenic and other metals, organotins and phthalates, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants (chemicals resistant to environmental degradation) and nicotine.
For more on the story see this article in The Ecologist.
Also check out the following trailer for the Canadian documentary film on obesogens entitled, ‘Programmed to be Fat’.