Chemicals and Your Waistline

Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States which lead to a whole host of medical problems including heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. However, it seems the old saying exercise more and eat less theory does not always work.  In fact, during the last 25 years, obesity has risen most notably in infants.  This has sparked a debate in the scientific community as to whether chemicals could be the culprit.

Animal research has shown that when mice are exposed to Tributyltin, a chemical used to make PVC plastic they develop extra fat cells and their offspring were significantly fatter than the offspring of mice that had not been exposed.

Additional human research has shown that young girls with the highest levels of phthalates in their urine also had higher BMIs. Additionally, BPA and certain pesticides have the ability to disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and hunger.

Avoiding canned food, microwaving food in plastic, and grain fed meat can help reduce exposure to these chemicals.  Additionally, Duke University research suggests that increasing intake of folate may help reduce the effects of BPA.