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Another Weight Loss Challenge: Obesogens (Chemical Weight Loss Saboteurs)
Raena M. • August 10, 2010

Oh no—not another obstacle to achieving any kind of normal weight! As if dieting weren’t hard enough already, chemical agents known as obesogens are now said to be thwarting those efforts, too. Here’s the latest theory: according to a White House report back in May of this year, there is a class of chemicals that are making Americans fat, as well as sabotaging the valiant efforts of dieters everywhere to lose weight. These chemicals are known for disrupting the endocrine system in our bodies (actually called endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs), and they blow a big hole in the calories-in/calories-out as a way to maintain weight loss.

The White House Task Force was focusing its attention on solving the problem of childhood obesity when these new findings emerged. Prior to that, the mounting obesity crisis was being blamed on fast, fatty, sugary, salty, calorie-dense foods coupled with a lack of exercise. But the plot thickens as these deviant chemicals circulating in our environment are now being blamed for contributing to our collective fatness!

Beware: these beasts are both natural and synthetic compounds that mimic the female hormone estrogen. Now, biologically speaking, the hormone estrogen has made it possible throughout our human history for females to store fat more efficiently than males in order to reproduce. Hence, one can see a connection. If the populace is getting an inordinate dose of estrogen-mimicking-chemicals on a daily basis, then it would follow that fat storage abilities would be enhanced.   

How are we exposed to these chemicals? Exposure comes by way of the presence of other chemicals in our environment—like pesticides. Ironically, we are encouraged to eat multiple servings of fruit and vegetables a day as part of a healthy, weight management diet. And yet, commercially-grown fruits and vegetables are heavily coated in pesticides.

Harmful chemicals found in plastic bottles and containers, even plastic wrap, is yet another source of chemicals entering our environment at opportune times. The chemicals in plastic, again mimicking estrogen, are said to “trick our bodies into storing fat.” Other sources of these endocrine disrupting hormones are to be found in fatty meats, in fish such as swordfish, marlin and orange roughy, in canned goods, and even in our tap water. Sounds like a conspiracy theorist’s fantasy world come true!

The estrogen-mimicking theory had already cropped up in the world of natural health and weight loss. But, interestingly enough, it is now coming from the White House. So we need to take heed—it’s a toxic, fattening world out there. By choosing organic produce whenever possible (add this to the long list of organic foods benefits), thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables, eating lean protein, particularly pasture fed animals, avoiding plastic bottles—a big one—and filtering our tap water, we can circumvent some of these disruptive, fat-promoting obesogens