By Rosie Main
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.”
There are a few ways obesogens affect the body.
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.
Decreasing Obesogen Exposure
Identifying top sources of obesogen is a critical first step in improving a person’s health. Obesogens are found in more than just household products.
Here are a few tips on reducing exposure to this dangerous chemical:
- Eat organic fruits and vegetables –Many of the pesticide residues on conventional fruits and veggies containobesogens. Switching to organic varieties can have an immediate impact on decreasing the levels of obesogens in the body.
- Avoid home fragrances –Scented candles, air fresheners,plug-ins and other types of home fragrances all contribute to indoor air pollution. According to the EPA, scientific evidence indicates indoor air can be “more seriously polluted” than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.
- 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.
- Filterdrinking water– Even though the Safe Water Drinking Act regulates 91 contaminates, tap water containing lead is still a serious problem.
- Optfor a natural deodorant – There’s a big difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. People like antiperspirants because they eliminate sweaty armpit stains. However, antiperspirants contain compounds that are intended to block the sweat glands. Small gel plugs were created to literally block 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 are endocrine disruptors. For this reason, using deodorants may be a healthier option.
Fortunately, there are many non-toxic deodorants to choose from that do not have these synthetic compounds.
Putting It All Together
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.
Rosie Main, D.C., owns Main Health Solutions at 2300 W. Everest Lane, Suite 175, in Meridian. She is also the host of Maximized Living Radio on 94.1 The Voice and KIDO 580 AM. For more information, visit MaximizedLivingDrMain.com.