Obesogens are natural and synthetic chemicals that can be found in cosmetics, plastics, food packaging, pesticides; practically everywhere in our daily lives. They disrupt the way our hormones act.
For instance leptin is the hormone that tells your body when it is full; fructose is an obesogen and it can affect the leptin into fooling your body to think it is not full even after a big meal.
Research is showing that some these obesogens are changing how our genes behave, causing our bodies to create more, larger fat cells which are more effective in storing fat.
Some biologists have identiﬁed how obesogens target developing fetus. Therefore, the more obesogens a pregnant woman is exposed to, the more likelihood her child could turn out to be an obese adult.
So where are the obesogens found?. So we can try to avoid them as much as possible:
- The hard plastic water bottle that you take to the gym can contain the obesogen Bisphol-A also known as BPA. When going to the gym or ofﬁce bring along a BPA free water bottle or aluminum bottle.
- Stay away from plastics with the number 3 or 7 on the bottom, which may leach BPA. Instead look for the numbers 1, 2, 4, 5 which are unlikely to contain BPA.
- A lot of tap water contains the herbicide atrazine which is a known obesogene, that seeps into our water system from the soil. Try using a high quality water ﬁlter on your faucet to ﬁlter out the chemicals. A granular carbon ﬁlter removes atrazine. Store ﬁltered water in a glass container when not drinking right away, be it on your kitchen counter or desk.
And more, they are everywhere:
- High fructose or corn syrup are known culprits. Check your fridge and pantry to see how many items contain either of these ingredients. You will be surprised.
- Soy contains two natural hormones that act as obesogens. Soy is also a crop that’s highly contaminated with pesticides, which then gives you a “double dose” of obesogens.
- Many pesticides that go on our fruits and vegetables are obesogens so try buying organic as much as possible.
- Steroids and antibiotics fed or injected to animals are obesogenes. Try to eat meat that is naturally raised and grass fed, along with wild ﬁsh andorganic eggs. Also, when buying your meats go straight to the butcher to avoid the industrial grade plastic wrap that goes on the pre-packaged meats. The butcher tends to wrap your meat in brown paper.
- Ban the cans; the lining of most canned foods contain BPA, so try to get food that comes frozen or in boxes if possible.
- Buy shower curtains that are made BPA free
- Farewell to fragrance; laundry detergents, dryer sheets, soaps, shampoo, cleaning products, perfumes, lotions and other products containing “fragrance” act as potent endocrine disruptors. Try to choose natural options instead and stay away from artiﬁcially fragranced products for your home and personal care needs.
- Stick with Paraben free cosmetics.
I know this is quite a bit of information to absorb all at once. Many of the options mentioned above may be not feasible, such as installing a new water ﬁlter or always buying organic meats and produce.
However, if you can make little changes or take even one of these suggestions to help improve your quality of health it is better than nothing at all. Half the battle of any change is at least knowing what you have to change or improve on.
“It is natural to be healthy. Our body does whatever it can to be in a state of health. If you support your body with health promoting choices, your body will respond.” ~Anonymous
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