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Obesity and Chemicals: A Matter of Environmental Justice

Posted on March 11, 2010

By Jose Bravo

José T. Bravo is Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance based in Chula Vista, California.

Jose Bravo Childhood obesity has received a lot of media attention lately, but the solutions in the news focus just on personal responsibility. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative is a great start, but it only addresses eating healthy food and getting exercise. While personal responsibility is important, there are other underlying issues that contribute to the childhood obesity problem.

Scientific evidence shows that certain chemicals block our hormones and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Known “endocrine-disrupting” chemicals, this class of toxins includes PCBs, DDT, dioxin, some pesticides, and many plasticizers, like BPA. These chemicals play an important role in the global epidemic of obesity. Dr. Bruce Blumberg, professor of developmental and cell biology and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of California in Irvine believes there’s evidence that industrial pollutants are contributing to America's obesity epidemic. Dr. Blumberg calls those chemicals “obesogens.”

"Despite what we've heard, diet and exercise alone are insufficient to explain the obesity epidemic." —Dr. Bruce Bloomberg, UC Irvine

There is now strong evidence that our bodies mistake certain man-made chemicals used in plastics, food, wrappers, and fragrances, and many more items, for naturally occurring hormones that regulate the production and storage of fat cells.

“Evidence has been steadily accumulating that certain hormone-mimicking pollutants, ubiquitous in the food chain, have two previously unsuspected effects. They act on genes in the developing fetus and newborn to turn more precursor cells into fat cells, which stay with you for life. And they may alter metabolic rate, so that the body hoards calories rather than burning them…” —Retha Newbold of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals that may be linked to obesity include:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is ubiquitous in the environment. It is used to make polycarbonate plastic water bottles, baby bottles, the linings of metal food and soft-drink cans, thermal receipt paper, and dental sealants. Studies show that mice and rats fed low doses of BPA during early development became more obese as adults than those that weren't fed the chemical. BPA leaches from food and beverage containers into what we eat and drink.
  • Phthalates are plasticizers found in PVC tubing, plastic, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, lotions, lubricants, paint, pesticides, fragrances and more. One recent study linked a type of phthalate that leaches into processed food with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance in men.
  • Atrazine is a commonly used weed killer found to contaminate drinking water supplies, and exist as residue in food. After noticing an apparent overlap between areas where the weed killer is used and the prevalence of obesity, researchers conducted animal studies of the effects of low doses of atrazine. The findings suggest that atrazine may contribute to the development of insulin resistance and obesity, especially when the exposure is associated with a high-fat diet.
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used to make non-stick cookware, found in grease-proof food packaging, and stain-proof coating on clothing and carpeting. Several studies show that PFOA exposure results in reduced birth weight followed by weight gain after puberty.

You can learn more about chemical obesogens here:

So what does all this have to do with environmental justice? Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. In communities of color and low-income neighborhoods where there was a history of toxic waste dumping, polluted air, and lax enforcement of environmental regulations, people started making the connection between a toxic environment and high incidence of cancer, asthma, and other health problems.

And so when people say unhealthy personal choices are the only cause of obesity – without considering things like obesogens — I start thinking about environmental justice. The obesity epidemic reminds me of the early 1990’s when the US EPA published a report called “Environmental Equity.” In this report the EPA determined that it was what people ate, smoked, and drank that was causing major illness in certain poor and ethnic communities. The EPA failed to make the connection between people getting sick, and people living in communities where there were dozens of “non point” sources of pollution and a multitude of industrial plants and abandoned toxic waste dumps. In essence, this report blamed the victim by concluding that we were the ones causing our illnesses in our communities — instead of looking at how the toxic chemicals in our communities may be harming our health.

I think that the First Lady and the Obama Administration should look at all the different factors that are affecting children. And take special notice of the fact that some American children live in communities that face a disproportionate risk from toxic chemicals, because someone thought it was OK to dump hazardous waste there. That has been our legacy—maybe since the industrial revolution. But this legacy isn't limited to poor people or people of color any more—these dangerous chemicals are in cans, baby formula, food wrappers, cookware and more. All of our children are at risk.

A real solution to this problem will be to stop our daily, unwitting, exposure to toxic chemicals at home, school, and work. That’s why the Just Transition Alliance has joined the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign, to work together to reform the nation’s chemical law that currently does not protect our health. We should have information about the health hazards of chemicals we’re exposed to—which is often kept hidden as “ trade secrets." And we must clean up the persistent chemicals that have contaminated communities for decades.

José T. Bravo is Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance based in Chula Vista, California. Jose is a leader in Californian chemicals policy reform work, and Green Chemistry as a co-convenor of Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE). José has participated in the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement since 1990, and over the years he has gained recognition as a national and international leader in the EJ movement.


Comments

Now that the American Medical Association has officially classified obesity as a disease, I suppose as a "disease sufferer" I have a legal case against chemical companies that produce PCBs, DDT, dioxin, some pesticides, BPA, etc.?

Posted by: Ken Glick (EEI) | Jul 9, 2013 1:35:00 PM

From my point of view, obesity is a result of a developed country. The more developed a country is, the more the number of obesity you will find in the country. People in these countries tend to have too much high calories food and lack of exercise due to modern urban lifestyle.

Posted by: Jane | Apr 6, 2013 8:41:06 AM

Until recently I would have disagreed with you regarding the link between obesity and our environment. The more I have learned about nutrition, food additives, and food chemicals though makes me realize that what we put in our bodies is the biggest factor, and not how much.
Thanks.

Posted by: Julia Wilson | Mar 27, 2013 5:56:47 PM

I am just about to start the Paleo Diet but I am a little concerned about the statement earlier in this article namely ""Despite what we've heard, diet and exercise alone are insufficient to explain the obesity epidemic." —Dr. Bruce Bloomberg, UC Irvine".Also the fact that certain chemicals used in everyday objects are present in our foods.Which I didn't know!The only aspect of the diet I am not looking forward to is giving up fresh milk.But it is something I have to do and hopefully the end will justify the means.

Posted by: David Hill | Feb 1, 2013 4:28:34 PM

What a great insight article.

Now only I know that certain chemicals that could lead to obesity.

This information remind me to monitor and try to eat lesser certain foods that might contain these chemicals.

I personally think that this is all depend on us, the buyer, to pick up which foods to buy and which not.

Buyers like all of us actually play a huge role and it can effect on what you find in a store and what not.

Buyers need to be remind often so that we can make good selection next time.

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Posted by: stress relievers online | Jun 29, 2012 10:56:48 AM

It's good to see this brought to people's awareness. There are definitely several sources of the current weight problem, and I believe all are known about, but due to vested interest, solutions aren't actively being sought.

Posted by: Mark | Jun 11, 2012 8:30:53 PM

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Please stay in the loop about how you can help to educate your own legislators on the need for sensible chemical policy. Use the resources associated with www.saferchemicals.org to learn more. Thanks again!

Posted by: Jose Bravo | Apr 27, 2012 3:12:06 PM

Luckily I happened this publish as Never imagined of these unwanted effects caused by chemicals launched from items that people use daily.

Posted by: Dentist Tampa Fl | Apr 10, 2012 12:58:27 AM

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Posted by: Longevity Time | Mar 23, 2012 10:33:18 PM

Although some of the terms here could probably only be understood by chemists and nutritionists, a lot of what is stated could already make parents understand that they need to watch more closely what their children eat and drink.

Thanks a lot for a informative post!

Posted by: messenger bags for men | Jan 30, 2012 8:24:02 AM

Hi Jose,

Great article and a real insight into some very interesting facts.

I don't think I will ever eat again!

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I don't think I will eat again after reading that, it is terrifying what you can find in the food we consume these days it really is.

Posted by: James Muscle Warfare Reviews Guy | Jan 9, 2012 4:47:14 PM

This is a great article, and a great topic to explore. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Rosie | Dec 22, 2011 12:26:47 AM

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Posted by: Weight Loss Plans | Dec 3, 2011 12:38:10 AM

This is really quite terrifying information. Mothers innocently use baby bottles and might unknowingly be contributing to their children's health issues.

Thanks for this information.

Posted by: My Little Snugabunny | Nov 14, 2011 8:29:36 AM

I really agree with you. Heart health is the most important, it's the key of health. I'm trying to eat healthy food these days...

Posted by: Befitnes | Oct 9, 2011 5:28:36 AM

A very interesting article.

I was not aware that there are certain chemicals that could influence obesity.

This article makes me aware that I have to try too reduce certain articles that might contain these chemicals.

I think once again it is up to us, the consumer, to "choose" which article to buy and which not.

I have seen that the "power" of the consumer can have an effect on what you find in a store and what not.

Of coarse the consumer has to be informed, and for that I thank you, Jose, of being one of those who do inform the public regarding certain dangers, so that we can make better choices.

Posted by: Chris from Healthy Vegetarian Diet | Oct 4, 2011 3:15:17 PM

I once read that Americans are the most overweight people on earth and most of these dangerous chemicals are invented there. It must be a major cause of all obesity not just in children.

Posted by: Isogenics | Oct 2, 2011 9:52:26 PM

The really scary part is what effect do all these chemicals have on all life on earth. Maybe one day we will reach a tipping point where there will be a catastrophe. Frogs are dying all over the world now. What's next?

Julie Peters
Isogenics U.K.

Posted by: Julie | Oct 2, 2011 9:47:19 PM

"A real solution to this problem will be to stop our daily, unwitting, exposure to toxic chemicals at home, school, and work. That’s why the Just Transition Alliance has joined the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign, to work together to reform the nation’s chemical law that currently does not protect our health. We should have information about the health hazards of chemicals we’re exposed to—which is often kept hidden as “ trade secrets." And we must clean up the persistent chemicals that have contaminated communities for decades." It is so true that we are exposed to more toxic chemicals than we are aware of. We tend to blame the cause of many illnesses on genetics,and no doubt there is some truth in it, but the underlying cause in many cases is most likely man-made toxins that we breathe, ingest and consume. The time for doing something about it is long overdue.

Posted by: Baldy's Fast Shampoo | Sep 28, 2011 6:54:04 PM

Fast foods and processed food can make your kids obese, proper diet can reduce chances of our kids getting obese.

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Posted by: Environmental Remediation | Sep 18, 2011 4:48:47 AM

Childhood obesity has become a major concern nowadays. They like to eat fast food and these have bad effect on their health. The ultimate result is the obesity.

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Asthma is indeed a troublesome health concern. The information you have shared is no doubt helpful. Great work on this post!

Posted by: flooring contractor tampa bay | Sep 6, 2011 8:14:47 PM

It goes to show that obesity is a multifactorial phenomenon. We can't blame or tease people of their size not considering all these, esp obesogens

Posted by: Vincent DelMonte Fan | Sep 3, 2011 9:33:54 AM

It it really crazy to think how much things we put into our body knowingly and then there are the things we don't even think about! You put in an incredible amount of research and it will not be taken lightly. I was taught by a mentor to always know where your food came from, but now I need to also consider the packaging as well.

Posted by: Jason from Diets and Dieting | Sep 2, 2011 7:01:30 PM

A person who consumes instant foods is definitely a victim of "chemical foods". Obviously, one should be responsible enough to what food choices he or she should take.

Posted by: Jenny S. | Aug 29, 2011 8:27:36 PM

Goodluck with the movement!!!

Posted by: Colon Cleansing Reviews | Aug 25, 2011 11:37:19 AM

this article is surprising and alarming in terms of the extent to which we may be affected by chemicals and man-made substances relating to our food chain.

Posted by: Jessica Biel Workout | Aug 24, 2011 11:44:53 AM

I have been trying to spread the word on this problem for ages,thank you for trying too.I've shared your article on face book.

I'm angry and tired of the government blaming the victims

Thank you again
jackie :)

Posted by: jackie baker | Aug 17, 2011 6:58:05 AM

The debate on child hood obesity has been an ongoing battle between the geneticists and psychologists. The theological debate on nature vs nurture is no where near as complacent as other hot topics. Yes weight loss products do work, but after a life of ingesting harmful chemicals through processed foods and plastic packaging there is only so much you can do. I do feel that parents should take a higher responsibility for their child's health and well being. Seeing overly obese 3 yr olds with parents who clearly do not care (happily feeding and gorging them with candies and ice cream) should be reported as a form of child abuse as these children now have to live with the adverse social stigma of being obese.

Posted by: Houston Weight Loss | Aug 15, 2011 9:45:06 AM

Thanks for sharing this informative article. This is a help in my research. As I have studied and learned, the causes of obesity are not only about diet and exercise but also in our hormone. Per se, your whole family is also suffering from obesity then most probably you could also acquire that.

Posted by: Dentist In Everett | Aug 3, 2011 6:11:14 AM

our youth of today need help in overcoming our obesity problem that has been going on with all the unhealthy foods out there to eat

Posted by: Sunny James | Jul 29, 2011 11:02:06 AM

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Posted by: Cosmetic Dentist | Jul 28, 2011 2:57:43 AM

“There is now strong evidence that our bodies mistake certain man-made chemicals used in plastics, food, wrappers, and fragrances, and many more items, for naturally occurring hormones that regulate the production and storage of fat cells.” Oh wow. Chemicals are just bad news and we need to protect our youth from them. But even if there are chemicals that could lead to obesity, that doesn’t change the fact that proper nutrition and exercise are just good habits to help kids stay healthy.

Posted by: Barbara | Jul 26, 2011 10:06:10 AM

This sort of issues have been anywhere. The government, the people are already aware of this dilemma. Unfortunately, the world would seemed paralyzed of if the production of plastics, chemicals, etc are seized. That is why everyone and then, they try to learn to new things and discoveries to at least parallel this effect.

Posted by: Helen the Dentist in Kirkland | Jul 26, 2011 9:43:51 AM

The people in power will figt us all the way. Its ingnorant peple we need to stop. People who take money over their own health and family. That is what the problem really is. Until this is considered we will truly never be safe from any danger.

Posted by: me | Jul 22, 2011 1:20:19 PM

There are a handful of good stores in every area that sell food without any chemicals, but they are pretty pricey.

Posted by: Sylvia Zee | Jul 16, 2011 6:02:15 PM

With all of these chemicals in food and drinks its now really important to detox. The buildup can make the problems much worse and detoxing is the only real way to get rid of them once they are there.

Posted by: Jacob | Jul 14, 2011 1:44:46 PM

This is pretty shocking to me. I'm going to have to repost this on my site I knew that there are chemicals coming into contact with us all the time, for example shower water is filled with chemicals. And preservatives, medicines, etc are filled with chemicals. To think that the body thinks they are hormones is really not good news and sort of scary. Definitely environmental justice is something the world needs to start heading towards.

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Posted by: Michael D'Amico | Jul 11, 2011 1:13:05 PM

I hope this information gets out to the public. It is just much too important for all of us.

Posted by: Virtual Desktops | Jul 11, 2011 12:24:44 PM

Thank you very much for the important information. It is of personal importance to me. I have battled a weight problem all my life and fear for my kids now.

Posted by: Load Factoring | Jul 11, 2011 12:20:37 PM

Great article. It brings the mind of every reader on the real and concrete results about obesity and chemicals. Obesity is becoming a major problem of the world and this article is calling the attention of everyone to take care of one's health.

Posted by: Brisbane Dentist | Jul 1, 2011 12:20:32 AM

I was right all the way! Chemicals KILLS. it's still best to eat foods that is NOT chemically treated. Excellent Post

Posted by: Kenny | Jul 1, 2011 12:20:05 AM

Almost all of our food nowadays are badly contaminated, even ones that is organic. So we must really know what we are actually eating.

Posted by: Rosa Betts | Jun 23, 2011 10:31:00 PM

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Posted by: Dieet schema | Jun 20, 2011 12:49:24 PM

The chemicals you mention need to be looked at further. They may be a piece in the puzzle. However, there certainly are other factors, as mentioned by some of the other commenters. Lack of exercise and parental teaching are factors.
Another factor has been pointed out by Robert Lustig. Robert Lustig at UCSF has been studying obesity in children for some time and points out that consumption of fructose has gone from 15 grams a day in the early 1900s to 55 grams a day in the U.S. today. The rise in obesity and diabetes parallels the rise in fructose consumption that occured when the "fat is bad, carbs are good" started in the 70s. Although there may be other factors for the rise of diabetes and obesity in children, especially worrisome is the rise in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, since fructose is processed in the liver into triglycerides and excess triglyceride build up in the liver cells may result.

Posted by: Gary Anderson | Jun 20, 2011 9:04:08 AM

I think health education plays a huge part in childhood obesity. In school, children are taught about exercising and such to help lose weight, but there are never taught the secrets of dieting that can help you lose weight. They children just try to skip meals and do things on their own without any knowledge. When they skip their meals, they're just slowing down their metabolism and hurting even more.

Posted by: Drop Weight Fast | Jun 16, 2011 8:37:55 PM

A good question for us to ask is why are all of these chemicals being added to food. The reason that many producers add them is because they are cheap materials/preservatives to use.
It turns out that natural preservatives and natural materials within food and products are cheaper to use now than to produce the chemical ones.

So there really isn't a good reason to use them in food anymore.

Posted by: maqui berry | Jun 16, 2011 8:09:35 PM

Obesity is no doubt a disease. Although, it can be managed at early age. It is truly a matter of a strict diet plan. Harsh as it may sound, obese people have no else to blame but their own selves.

Posted by: Lose Weight With Chia Seeds | Jun 14, 2011 9:00:25 PM

What a great topic to discuss, I have been very familiar with the effects of fatty foods, trans fats etc.. and always assumed that obesity was a controlled problem. I myself follow the paleo diet with great results and believe the origins of are problems lie there. Mr. Bravo raises some excellent points I have never even considered, the question I am now pondering is do the food manufacturers know this - my guess is of course they do. The harsh reality is obesity is a fantastic problem for the pharma and food companies, it increases there profits and helps them reinvent and re package food.

Posted by: Houston weight loss clinics | Apr 28, 2011 12:01:04 PM

it is quite interesting to learn from this article that toxic waste are contributing the high incidence of obesity in the society.

I think the relevant govt agencies have to move fast in enforcing laws on polluted air and toxic waste being allowed in our environment.i hope we will not have a society suffering from its own carelessness.

Posted by: kayus-cholesterol | Apr 27, 2011 5:29:22 AM

It makes me mad to know that these chemicals have been used in our foods and packaging for years, and hardly anyone is complaining or doing anything about it. Thanks for opening everyones eyes.

Posted by: workouts-abs | Apr 1, 2011 6:26:13 PM

This is definitely a wake up call for the government and the people. We can't only concentrate on eating healthy and getting enough exercise, but we need to start taking care of our environment since it can affect our overall health as well as the health of the future generations in the long term. If these aren't addressed, there may not be any future generation.

Posted by: Chel, lower cholesterol naturally | Mar 29, 2011 11:56:45 PM

This amazing article opened my eyes!!!!
Thanks Jose for increasing my knowledge.
Thanks Again

Posted by: Truth Abs | Mar 27, 2011 1:55:56 PM

I find the emerging hypothesis about chemicals and obesity alarming because if compounds like bisphenol-a , found in plastics affects unborn babies, why wouldn't it continue to affect us as babies, toddlers, children, teens and adults? And what happens then when we are are exposed to them day in and day out year after year?

Posted by: Monoglyceride | Mar 17, 2011 2:24:34 PM

This is something that many of us are not aware on a daily basis. If we only due this sort of information beforehand then the obesity levels in this country might not be as high.

Posted by: murrieta dentist | Mar 2, 2011 5:13:17 PM

Luckly I stumbled upon this post as I never thought of such negative effects brought about by chemicals released from utensils that we use daily.

I'll share this page with all my friends.

Posted by: Weight Loss Pill Review | Feb 27, 2011 9:29:49 PM

These chemicals play an important role in the global epidemic of obesity.

Posted by: Veneers | Feb 27, 2011 1:44:28 AM

Chemical in our environment making us fat by blocking hormones and disruption our normal body functions.

This is an important idea and cannot be ignored. That said, the chemicals are there and unfortunately are not going to go away soon. So it seems we need to combine efforts to reduce the number and danger of these chemicals in (and entering) our environment with treatments that if at all possible can flush them out of our systems.

Is this second possibility at all possible according to the evidence accumulated?

Posted by: Donald Roderick | Feb 23, 2011 7:05:16 AM

I have come across some studies that imply that susceptibility to obesity might be developed in the womb or early in life and that exposure to a array of common household chemicals can, almost certainly along with foetal nutrition, play a role in increasing that susceptibility.
This may potentially change how people view and treat obesity. If these findings are proven to be true in humans, then the focus must change from losing weight as adults to prevention of weight gain during development, through reducing the exposure to such substances.

Posted by: Pec Workouts | Feb 21, 2011 10:22:14 AM

In my opinion, obesity is a serious problem. And what you are saying here on you're article is true. So, exercise and dieting alone is not sufficient and we really need to checked the food we eat and the things that we are using and applying to our bodies. Making it sure that it's not an Endocrine-disrupting chemical/Obesenogen. I suggest we can actually plant our own veges in our backyard which should be free from pesticides and used glass bottles for drinking.

Anyway, this is Patricia an implant dentist saying this is a very nice blog with vital information that we can learn about.

Posted by: Dental Implant PA | Feb 20, 2011 7:50:48 PM

What a great topic to discuss, I have been very familiar with the effects of fatty foods, trans fats etc.. and always assumed that obesity was a controlled problem. I myself follow the paleo diet with great results and believe the origins of are problems lie there. Mr. Bravo raises some excellent points I have never even considered, the question I am now pondering is do the food manufacturers know this - my guess is of course they do. The harsh reality is obesity is a fantastic problem for the pharma and food companies, it increases there profits and helps them reinvent and re package food.

Posted by: Michael Thomas | Feb 8, 2011 5:01:35 AM

I think that chemicals have a greater affect on us that many would like to believe. We have put our heads in the sand about so many things, including the chemicals we breathe, eat, and even put onto our skin with lotions, etc. We need to be more aware. Thank you for an enlightening article.

Posted by: Val | Feb 2, 2011 12:14:42 PM

We have been talking about environment for a long time. But we still do not come forward to prevent the pollution we are causing day by day. We are only discussing about it. I think it is high time to prevent the pollution. Otherwise, one day will come we will never get the chance to save ourselves. Thanks writers for his powerful writings.

Posted by: cranberry pills | Jan 18, 2011 6:54:39 AM

For too many years we have been blaming the fast food chains for the obesity epidemic. However, it didn't really add up that it was just the fast food that resulted in such an outbreak of obesity.
Obesegons make a whole lot of sense in explaining not only the rise in obesity but also corresponding rises in illnesses such as cancer.
Thank you for such an informative article.

Posted by: John Foster | Jan 18, 2011 5:41:36 AM

Here in Scotland there is also a lot of talk about obesity and an article that caught my eye the other day in one of the daily papers. What a graph showed was that the poorer the area the more cases of obesity there was.

Posted by: Clive from Article Zone | Jan 15, 2011 6:46:46 AM

I had no idea those chemicals affected so many. I knew obesity is a real issue. Create a lifestyle of fitness and you will feel amazing!

Posted by: Matthew Comer | Pilates Orlando Fl | Dec 29, 2010 1:11:36 PM

This article definitely woke me up. I think a lot of us including myself are asleep to the dangers of food chemicals and other unnatural things that cause harm to our body. I think it is great that an article like this is written to make people really aware of the dangers of not just fats and cholesterol but also the chemicals that they are putting in our food and water as well. Great post and really commend you for writing this.

Posted by: Micah the Columbus Personal Trainer | Dec 20, 2010 4:39:12 PM

Its very important for parents to be extra observant to their children from reaching anything into their hands to prevent this dangerous chemicals. Parents plays a big role into theirs children health welfare.

Posted by: weight loss menu men | Dec 11, 2010 12:12:01 AM

Mr. Bravo, this post is an eye opener. it is true that the chemicals in our food and packaging are not only contributing to many illnesses but also to obesity.

Posted by: weight loss calorie men | Dec 9, 2010 11:14:02 PM

Mr. Bravo I had no idea about all these toxins and how they affect us all. But it makes me wonder, is the first lady in a position to address this issue?

Posted by: Jay a Chad Waterbury fan | Dec 5, 2010 7:09:30 PM

I so wish the general population read this and understood it! The chemicals in our food and packaging are not only contributing to many illnesses but also to obesity.
Estrogen dominance is a big obesity contributor and there are so many Xenoestrogens (man made estrogens) that are in plastics, cosmetics, cleaning products... and more.
Organic food isn't even 100% safe if it is packaged or canned... and that is frightening.
Then there's all the artificial sweeteners that may be 0 calories but they are making us fatter than consuming normal sugar (though we eat too much of that as well!)
Eating certified organic with BPA free packaging and choosing green, organic products for your home and body is the only way to go.
Everyone has a choice and if you read this article then you are aware of the consequences... so make conscious choices.
Thanks for making people aware!

Posted by: Shannon Phelps | Dec 5, 2010 4:47:32 AM

To think that such ubiquitous things like plastic water bottles or cans or other food containers can be causing people to be obese! The government would be well served to understand more about these obesogens, what products are they in, and what concentrations are harmful. This would seem to be a good research for the zillionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who have pledged to give away most of their fortunes, to fund. It would seem doubtful that the government would fund something like this.

Posted by: Walt-Colorado Liposuction | Dec 1, 2010 12:51:53 PM

Of course it is bad for us and our children to have access to chemicals in the way we do. But we must be careful about confusing the issue. There is more to obesity in children and adults than chemicals. From a European perspective I see that Britain and France have a lot in common, including the chemicals in their food chain. But the British are the most overweight people in Europe and are approaching American proportions. We have many more fast food outlets than the French. Is British obesity caused by chemicals in fast food or by just eating too much junk food?

Posted by: Peter Stockwell - Senior Walking Fitness Blog | Dec 1, 2010 9:19:01 AM

I found this post extremely eye opening because the obesity epidemic that is happening now has never been seen before and there is more to it then people realize. As a health food and exercise instructor I strongly urge people to eat organic foods and always use protective measures when using chemicals. There are so many foods and products out there that have little to no long term research and we are finding out now that this was a mistake. The more research we do on this the better we can turn this thing around because we have gotten carried away with the use of chemicals on everything.

Posted by: The lose 5 lbs guy | Nov 26, 2010 4:29:37 PM

Thank you for this well written and informative post about our exposure to industrial chemicals and how they affect our well being particularly in the widespread subject of obesity.

I believe our body is a well designed system of balanced functions that harmoniously work together to heal itself and sustain life for an extended period of time. To do so the body requires balanced nutrition along with regular mental and physical exercise. Many years ago when most people moved from natural to processed foods our internal systems became unbalanced trying to adjust to various chemicals and preservatives.

Add to this the fast food revolution that began in the late 1950's and the additives used to enhance productivity and shorten birth to market times and it is no wonder we are submerged in an environment of chemicals.

This will not change, at least in my life time, because much of this topic is controlled by mega corporations and their influence on our government.

Most people are not fully aware of the effects of chemicals on their lives and that of future generations. It is efforts and blogs like Sr. Bravo's that enlightens the public. I believe that public opinion can change the status quo.

Posted by: Bill C | Nov 23, 2010 3:53:27 PM

Thanks for posting this. It's scary to think about what these toxins are doing to us, and that I have been exposed to them for so long. It makes sense that things that do not belong in the body will effect it in a negative way.

Posted by: Anne | Nov 19, 2010 8:43:51 AM

You raise some interesting points. I never would have made the connection between obesity and environmental factors. I've always seen people who were obese as people who ate too much, and didn't exercise enough.

I say: Get obese people to eat healthier, and exercise more often, and I guarantee it will at least improve their health regardless what caused it.

Posted by: Bodybuilding and Fitness | Nov 18, 2010 10:19:40 AM

It's good to see this brought to people's awareness. There are definitely several sources of the current weight problem, and I believe all are known about, but due to vested interest, solutions aren't actively being sought.

Posted by: Robert | Nov 18, 2010 3:30:48 AM

Thank you for your article. It is overwhelming when you realize how many Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) we come into contact with on a daily basis. These obesogens have been in our water, plastics, pesticides, laundry soaps & softeners and personal care products for decades. I personally help families rid their homes of toxic products that come in contact with your skin by way of body wash, lotions and cosmetics. The EPA has stated that a chemical applied to your skin will reach every organ in your body to some degree within only 26 seconds. We all need to be aware that what we put ON our skin goes INTO our bodies. The Presidential Cancer Panel's 2008-2009 annual report on environmental cancer risks spotlights this information on pages 39-40 of the report. Pregnant women using shampoos, body washes, perfume and lotions pass these EDCs to their unborn babies, according to their research. Make sure to do your own research and then make healthier choices for your family. A good online resource is www.cosmeticsdatabase.com. There you can search for products you currently use, and it will tell you how toxic they may be and why.

Posted by: Diana Richards | Nov 17, 2010 10:54:30 AM

These chemicals are not just found in food and industrial products. They are also found in the personal, laundry and cleaning products that you are breathing, touching and slathering on yourself and family daily!

Posted by: Nance | Nov 15, 2010 2:11:15 PM

I would disagree to a certain extent,because if that was true why isn't everyone fat.

I believe the processed foods and fast foods that kids eat is partially to blame as well as computer games.

The above mentioned contains chemicals that makes people addicted to eating them.

Kids and people in general have become very lazy,junk food eating,video games playing couch potatoes...


Compared to 30 years ago people are very lazy,if it does not have a remote leave it alone.

Furthermore the problem is getting worse,not better...

Posted by: Lester e. a. Wilson | Nov 13, 2010 1:38:57 PM

people just like you, with busy lives, demanding jobs, and on-the-go families. They’ve all lost weight with NUTRILITE.

Posted by: Ihor | Nov 7, 2010 10:22:41 AM

Is it not strange that France and the UK share a similar level of prosperity and development and yet the French are generally a lot slimmer than the British. The only difference is that the British have many more McDonald outlets than the French.

Posted by: Peter Stockwell@Senior Walking Fitness | Nov 6, 2010 8:07:42 AM

I believe that the large number of obesity today is a proof that there is something in our "highly developed" air that is affecting our bodies. We will never get to know how to solve this until the time that new substances is introduced into our air and affect us once again - like a cycle. Sometimes I stop myself from reading information as such because even though they are facts, they somehow make me "stop" living my life.

Posted by: Caitlin at Link building Services | Nov 5, 2010 9:10:36 PM

Great Post. thank for this share. I like tis and agree with you

Posted by: James | Nov 2, 2010 10:30:34 PM

The fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides we put on our lawns have dramatic consequences. Dust is inhaled, particles are brought in to our homes by just walking on our lawns.

Posted by: pilates exercises | Oct 21, 2010 5:03:27 AM

We should be aware for our health and so as for the children. This blog gives me better ideas and good information. Thanks for the post.

Posted by: weight loss diet tips | Oct 21, 2010 4:57:46 AM

Yes, this concept of endocrine-disrupting chemicals should be communicated to the public. This could be such a prevalent problem which was never noticed.

Posted by: Weight Loss Program | Oct 10, 2010 10:10:06 PM

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