According to evidence presented at a recent scientific conference on endocrinology (hormonal system) everyday exposure to obesity-promoting chemicals (obesogens) represents a significant risk to public health, and needs stronger regulation to minimize exposure and protect people’s health. The scientists point to a growing amount of evidence for the serious impact of these chemicals on childhood and adult obesity.
The long-held mindset that diet and physical activity are the sole determinants of body weight has now been overturned, and it is understood that genetics and environmental factors also have an important role. Until recently,the damaging influence of hormone-disrupting chemicals on the increasing incidence of obesity has been greatly underappreciated. However, a rapidly growing body of evidence indicates that these chemicals can scramble our normal metabolism and undermine our natural processes for using calories, predisposing us to weight gain.
Some common chemicals linked to
Scientists have pointed to compelling evidence from numerous studies on the seriousness of exposure to obesogens, including the dangers of three very common chemicals that we often encounter in our everyday lives.
- Bisphenols, found in aluminum can lining and thermal receipts, make fat cells larger and predispose us to store fat.
- Phthalates, found in personal care products and food packaging, can reprogram how our bodies metabolize protein, pushing it to store fat, regardless of our physical activity level or diet.
- PFOS (PFAS chemicals), found on non-stick cookware and water-resistant clothing, have been shown to mis-program the body to store fat, even when external conditions indicate you should burn fat calories, such as in cold temperatures. In adults that lost weight following a healthy diet with physical activity, higher PFOS levels were associated with more regain of weight later.