Obesogens are chemical compounds that could be a possible factor in the obesity epidemic in this country! Diet and exercise are insufficient to explain the current obesity epidemic. It is important to shift the treatment of obesity to prevention vs. treatment.
Obesogens are a fairly new field of study but a Lifestyle Solution of avoiding them at this point is highly recommended for these reasons:
- They disrupt your endocrine system, which can lead to weight gain and many diseases.
- They alter your hunger by blocking signals to your brain that say that you are full.
- They may make your liver insulin resistant so that more fat is stored in your fat cells.
- They may cause an increase in your fat cell numbers!
- Prenatal exposure could reprogram fat cells in your fetus,leading to a lifetime weight struggle. See Healthy Pregnancy!
- Critical windows of exposure to them are unknown!
The rise in obesity correlates with the rise in usage of these chemicals, and "The American Medical Association" supports this.
Other healthy issues they can also cause are:
- heart disease
- high cholesterol
Types Of Obesogens
There may be thousands of yet unidentified obesogens, but the different types that are known at this point are:
- Soy products: Soy products, including baby food formulas, can promote fat cell growth and number, because they contain natural hormones called phytoestrogens. Chicken, beef, and farm fed salmon are fed soy also. Modern chickens contain two to three times as many calories from fat as from protein.
- Chemicals: Additives in processed foods or on fruits and veggies. Read food labels.
- Pesticides: Most of us are exposed to pesticides daily in foods, drinks and our drinking water. These chemicals can mimic estrogen during development and lead to weight gain later in life or some might lead to fat cell formation at any age.
- Growth Hormones: If you are eating meat or dairy that has been treated with steroids and growth hormones that promote quick growth, you are eating those hormones too. If they cause cattle to gain weight quickly, they might be causing growth in you also! Look for meat that is not high fat, because fat is where growth hormones are stored, or buy organic meats and dairy!
- Antibiotics: Given to animals to promote growth and health because they are in very close environment to one another.
- Plastic pollutants in food packaging: BPA from cans lined with plastic leaches into your foods, and can interfere with your hormones that tell your body that you are full. 93% of Americans have detectible levels of BPA in their bodies. Another chemical called Phthalate is found in plastics also and 75% of us have detectible levels in our urine. Both of these make us more likely to gain fat from an early age.
- Sweeteners: Sweeteners including high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar disrupt our appetite control systems.
Ways to Eliminate Obesogens
To gain control of your weight you may need to eliminate obesogens from your diet. Some Lifestyle Solutions that can help you eliminate them are:
- Choose Pasture fed meats: Buy and eat only organic, free range chicken, grass fed beef and organic dairy. This will also limit soy, antibiotics and hormones. See Organic Protein!
- Eliminate, or limit eating at fast food: Eat out only at restaurants, or fast food restaurants that serve organic meats, fruits and vegetables.
- Know when to go Organic: Buy organic fruit or vegetables for the dirty dozen: Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines, Grapes (imported), Sweet Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Blueberries (domestic), Lettuce, and Kale. This can reduce your pesticide exposure by nearly 80%. Fruits like oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, bananas, pineapple, mango, and watermelon are safer because of the peels.
- Choose low obesogen Fish: Buy wild salmon, not farmed salmon which are fed soy and given antibiotics. Choose small lean fish, lower on the food chain.
- Limit canned goods: Limit cans that are lined with plastics containing BPA like beans, tuna, soup and tomatoes. Buy tuna in pouches or buy frozen veggies. Buy Eden Foods canned beans and jarred foods, which are in BPA-free packaging. Limit canned energy drinks, baby food cans that are lined with BPA. Avoid drinking from plastic drinking bottles.
- Limit Plastics: Do not put any plastics in the oven or microwave which can damage the plastic and cause leaching. Get rid of all plastics that you own with #3, 6, or 7 on the bottom. Do not buying food from the market that is wrapped in plastic.
- Filter your tap water: Drink filtered tap water. Pesticides and chemicals leach into the water table underground.
Traditional diets that recommend a diet high in fish, chicken, fruits and veggies, may not work anymore! You are filling up on foods that are high in obesogens that might be interfering with your endocrine system, and promoting weight gain. The healthy diet habit is to eat foods that are obesogen free, eat reasonably sized portions, and foods that you love in moderation.
Additional Info. about Obesogens