Are you eating healthy, exercising regularly and still struggling to lose weight? There another piece to the weight loss puzzle that you may not have even thought to consider. Your new enemy, an environmental toxin, called an obesogen. The Collins Dictionary defines an obesogens as, “Chemicals that inappropriately alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic set points, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity.” Bottom line, these guys prefer to live in our fat cells.
We have many environmental toxins in our world today. Some of them are avoidable but others, just aren’t. We encounter many of these obesogens on a daily basis. Plastics, pesticides and even jet fuel (hello my fellow flight crew members!) are all environmental chemicals that can contribute to obesity. Obesogens | The Scientist Magazine®
What do these chemicals do?
The chemicals that make up these plastics not only can cause weight gain but can mimic estrogen in the body which may disrupt our endocrine and metabolic systems. One of the biggest offenders is Bisphenol-A or as more commonly known,BPA. See the following link: Urinary bisphenol A and obesity BPA is found in plastics, aluminum cans, (unless the lining says BPA free) printed receipts from ATM’s and cashiers as well as those paper coffee cups you see everywhere you buy a hot beverage. Heating plastics whether by leaving a water bottle in a car, microwaving or drinking hot water can cause BPA to leach into the plastic.
And of course plastics are bad for the environment. Did you know not all plastics can be recycled? Until I researched this post I didn’t realize the caps on plastic water bottles are not recyclable. Have you wondered what the numbers labeled on these plastic items mean? The website Plastics by the Numbers can show you what these numbers inside the chasing arrows actually mean and some of the health problems they can cause.
What about BPA free?
BPA free plastics aren’t much better. Bisphenol-S has been touted as a safe replacement to BPA but studies show it is just as harmful. Is BPS safer than BPA? These plastic chemicals have also been shown to cause reproductive problems and lower sperm count. Two side effects I’d imagine most of us would pass on.
Here’s how to avoid these yucky obesogens
I promise this part is easy! Just limit your use of plastics. Use glass or stainless whenever possible and never microwave or heat plastics. As convenient as it might be never store plastic water bottles in your car. Look for products in that come in glass. A bonus, you can then reuse those cute jars as storage containers. When choosing beverages search for glass instead of aluminum cans or plastic. Glass and stainless-steel straws are easy to buy too. Thanks Amazon! Ask to have receipts emailed to you if possible and make sure to wash your hands after handling them. Bring a stainless water bottle or coffee mug to have refilled and eat organic whenever possible. Again, both are tremendously better for our environment.
As a flight attendant I haven’t yet figured out a way to avoid the fumes from jet fuel but when I do, you can bet I’ll put a patent on it! In the meantime, I change what I can control such as skipping plastic water bottles (at least on domestic flights), drinking my coffee and ginger tea out of stainless and bringing my own healthy snacks in glass containers.
I can feel your overwhelm. When I first started learning about all this it was overwhelming to me too. We obviously can’t control everything in our environment. But we can take steps to minimize what we do have control over. Change begins when we have an understanding of what damage products or chemicals may have on us and our earth. Moving forward with cleaner, easier options becomes second nature in no time.
Obesogens can be just one part of the weight loss struggle. As you’ve just read, these chemicals can contribute to hormone imbalance as well as host of other problems. Thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive hormone imbalance all affect weight. Talk to your doctor about blood work and hormone testing. Knowledge is power. Start slowly and see where you can take steps to minimize your use of plastics.
Obsogens :The Scientist.com
http://Plastics by the Numbers