By Mike Clifford
Nevada News Service
LAS VEGAS — It’s common knowledge that eating healthy food and
exercising can help people maintain a healthy weight, but there’s
another factor at play of which many people are unaware: chemicals in
the products they buy and use that can contribute to fat accumulation.
According to Kathleen Schuler, senior policy analyst at the Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy, an emerging body of science links an
increased risk of obesity to chemicals that disrupt hormones,
especially during prenatal life and in childhood.
“One of the effects can be changing the cellular pathways to
accumulate fat, so we’re finding that many of the chemicals that we
are exposed to every day are what we call ‘obesogens’ — chemicals that
contribute to fat accumulation,” Schuler explained.
It is estimated that one-third of American children and two-thirds of
adults in this country are overweight or obese.
Chemical obesogens can be found in everything from electronics to
nonstick cookware and more, Schuler warned.
“Bisphenol-A, which people know, it’s in food-can linings” is among
them, she stated. “It’s in certain kinds of plastics. Phthalates are
also hormone-disrupting chemicals that are known to be obesogens; and
phthalates are used in plastics. They’re also used in fragrance
products, so many personal-care products have phthalates in them.”
To reduce the risk of exposure, Schuler said, consumers can stop
purchasing and using those products that contain the chemicals. Even
better, she says, would be to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act,
which is a federal measure that regulates industrial chemicals.
More information at http://www.iatp.org/documents/