Hidden Factor Linked to Weight Gain
Obesity is on the rise and although the main culprits are blamed on a poor diet and lack of exercise, there may be other contributing factors that are not as well-known to the public. These new saboteurs are known as obesogens.
What are Obesogens?
• Obesogens are chemical compounds that are natural and man-made that we are unfortunately exposed to every day from the environment. These obesogens can be present in everything from certain food products, plastic used in packaging, such as water bottles, and even tap water that may have been exposed to a chemical known as known as tributylin, that may be found in your faucets. Tributylin is a fungicide that if ingested can stimulate the production of fat cells in the body.
Effects of Obesogens on Weight Gain
• These chemicals are also known as endocrine disruptors since they are suspected of altering the normal function of our hormonal systems. When this happens the system that regulates and controls your weight is affected, which in turn can increase the fat cells in your body. An increase in added fat cells in the body can, unfortunately lead to unwanted weight gain, and may be helping to fuel the ever rising obesity epidemic.
• Obesogens may cause the liver to be resistant to insulin, resulting in an increased production of more insulin in the pancreas. The excessive amount of insulin in the body then coverts the extra energy and food into fat. More fat can mean more weight gain.
• Some obesogens prevent leptin from being produced and released in the body. Leptin, is a protein hormone that regulates energy levels, and is responsible for letting you know when you are satisfied and full, which can help you avoid overeating. Overeating, of course, leads to more calories consumed, which can pack on the pounds.
How Can You Avoid Obesogens?
• Replace plastic containers in the home that you are using or storing food in, with glass or aluminum. Wax paper is another alternative for storing food.
• Grass-fed meat and free-range poultry are recommended to avoid obesogens found in numerous animal processing plants. If you are buying meat from the butcher, ask him to wrap the meat in paper.
• Buy organic food and groceries from a local farmer’s market, or a store that sells organic food and produce.
• Use fabric or biodegradable bags when shopping for groceries.
• Avoid using phthalate containing products in your home. These man-made chemicals found in many items in your home are used in PVC plastics. For example, shower curtains, rain coats, some plastic toys, and even nail polish, especially chip resistant, perfumes, and scented sprays for your home. Be sure to check any items you purchase that you’re not sure of by reading the label to see if it states phthalate free.
Avoiding chemicals such as obesogens, found in many food products, plastics, and other household items, may help you more successfully attain your desired weight loss, along with a healthy diet, and exercise program.