. . . you betcha! When Raymond Francis’ book Never Be Fat Again was published in 2007, it was the first weight loss book we know of to treat toxins as a significant cause of obesity. The connection between chemical toxins and weight gain had already been reported in the scientific literature, but was still unknown to most of us. In 2006, Dr. Bruce Blumberg of the University of California at Irvine coined the term “obesogen” after discovering that a chemical used in wood preservatives could cause pregnant mice to have fat baby mice – effects which persisted throughout their lives. Obesogens are chemicals that alter metabolism in favor of fat accumulation or impact hunger leading to overeating. In a report for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy published this past July, Kathleen Schuler, MPH, reviewed recent research confirming the obesogenic nature of four common chemicals: Bisphenol A (BPA): Found in polycarbonate plastic (the kind of plastic used in large water bottles and, except in states where it’s been outlawed, in baby bottles and toys), epoxy linings in food cans, dental sealants, cashier’s receipts, and paper money that has been stuffed into pockets and wallets along with these receipts (almost all the world’s money has now been contaminated). BPA has also been found in the common plastic water bottles that millions of us are drinking from. We believe that ideally everyone should be drinking from glass. However, glass can be impractical. Thus, we offer a high quality stainless steel water bottle as a replacement for the plastic water bottle. Phthalates: Found in soft plastics, bodycare and cleaning products, and in food packaging. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE): Flame retardants – found in furniture, electronics and textiles. Perfluoroalkyls (like PFOs and PFOA): Found in the Teflon coating on cookware and in grease-resistant food packaging. Ongoing biomonitoring studies conducted by the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) consistently find all of these chemicals present in the urine of almost everyone tested. Even small amounts can affect weight as well as cause other kinds of health problems. Other obesogens include cigarette smoke, certain pharmaceutical drugs, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, benzo[a]pyrene (from wood-burning fireplaces, automobile exhaust, and cooked, especially charbroiled, meat), and fine particulate matter. Obviously we should avoid obesogenic toxins where we can, for the sake of our waistlines as well as for our general health. This would include purifying our water and indoor air, and using non-toxic cleaning and bodycare products. Since it’s impossible to avoid all the toxic chemicals we’re exposed to, it’s important to support your body’s chemical detoxification pathways with a strong supplement support program including plenty of antioxidants, and to sweat out toxins with regular exercise and infrared saunas.
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