Obesogens in Household Products: What Are Obesogens?
Did you know that toxic products are all around us? You probably did. But did you know how they impact our health on a daily basis? Drinking certain water, using specific cookware, plastics and other every day products all contain Obesogens which are toxic and are making us fat!
Obesogens are defined as “foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development.” They are also defined as chemicals that “alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic set points, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite to promote fat accumulation and obesity.”
What are some of the names of obesogenic chemicals and common uses of products that contain them? You probably herd of BPA (Bisphenol-A). This product is used in baby bottles, plastic food & beverage containers and metal food cans. Pthalates is another toxic obesogen and is used in food containers, toys, beauty products, shower curtains, paint and pharmaceuticals. The chemical Atrazine is in herbicide. Oganotins is used in artificial chemical for industrial purposes. Perfluorooctanoic Acid is used in non-stick cookware and microwave popcorn.
What functions in the body are affected by obesogens:
Weight Gain: The hormone system regulates the body’s metabolism, energy, hunger and feelings of fullness. Exposure to obesogens can lead to metabolic distress, which could disrupt the endocrine system. For example, when the signals to alert the body of hunger and fullness are altered, a person may continue eating when they are actually full. In time, this could lead to weight gain.
This overeating increases the risk of other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. Medicines are then prescribed to combat these obesity-related ailments, while the actual cause of the weight gain (obesogens) goes undetected and untreated.
Male fertility: Studies indicate obesogens could be linked to a decrease in male fertility due to their action as “endocrine disruptors.”
Altered reproductive hormone levels in girls: A 2011 study on 239 Taiwanese girls aged 12 and younger found that girls with higher phthalate concentrations had greater odds of sex-hormone-binding globulin above median levels.
Increased birth defects: Preliminary studies on the obesogen atrazine and other pesticides between 1996 and 2002 found that higher risks of birth defects occurred when there were elevated levels of agrichemicals in surface water.
Hyperthyroidism: Exposure to the obesogen perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) was found to increase the risk of hypothyroidism. Studies also indicate women and children were more at risk for mild thyroid failure when exposed to the chemical.
Unfortunately, most doctors aren’t discussing the potential effects of being exposed to obesogens. Instead, they focus on treating and alleviating symptoms, without determining what may be causing the mysterious health issues in the first place. As a result, they will never discover the potential link to these chemicals, and risk giving their patients inadequate (and ineffective) treatment.
5 Tips on reducing exposure to obesogens:
Eat Organic Fruits and Vegetables:
Many of the pesticide residues on conventional fruits and veggies contain obesogens. Switching to organic varieties can have an immediate impact on decreasing the levels of obesogens in the body.
2. Eliminate Fabric Softeners:
The toxins in fabric softeners can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin via clothes, bed sheets, etc.
Decrease the Use of Plastics:
The plastics that come into contact with food can leach obesogenic compounds into the food. This also includes plastic water bottles, plastic utensils, drinking cups, plates, and other plastic kitchen items. Each of these items should be avoided. (The use of microwaves increases the leaching as well.) Plastics also contain synthetic estrogen, which contributes to hormonal disruption. Instead of storing most foods in plastic, opt for glass containers and mason jars.
Note: plastic containers can be used for foods like pretzels, and non-food items, such as storage for items in the garage.
Filter Drinking Water:
Even though the Safe Water Drinking Act regulates 91 contaminates, tap water containing lead is still a serious problem in Flint, Michigan and countless other cities.
Use a Natural Deodorant:
There’s a big difference between antiperspirants and deodorants: People like antiperspirants because it eliminates sweaty armpit stains. However, antiperspirants contain compounds that are intended to block the sweat glands. This is important because sweating is one of the ways toxins are removed from the body. These ingredients also have fragrances, which means they contain synthetic chemicals like phthalates and parabens which is another endocrine disruptor. For this reason, using deodorants may be a healthier option.
Obesogens in household products are used in many facets of modern life. While removing these harmful chemicals may seem daunting, it should be viewed as a systematic phase-out. It doesn’t have to be done overnight or on a weekend. It may take several months or longer, but even the smallest changes can have a tremendous impact on a person’s health over time.
Larisa Belote, INHC, AADP, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and founder of Step by Step Wellness, is dedicated to keeping up with the latest research and creating individualized programs that fit best with our client’s needs. Contact Larisa to set up an appointment and to learn more about the toxicity testing and True Cellular Detox. 732.490.5770, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stepbystep-wellness.com
This article appears in the August 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine Monmouth Ocean edition. Click here to subscribe, thanks :)