Obesity levels in Canada are on the rise and this is why it is so important to look at all of the contributing factors in our environment. Obesity has been associated with poor diets, super-sized portions and sedentary lifestyles. While these reasons for obesity may be true, they may not be the only factors to blame. Recently researchers have started looking at how chemicals may be contributing to high levels of obesity in this country.
According to a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, there are between 15 and 20 chemicals that have been shown to cause weight gain. These chemicals not only lead to weight gain; they make quick weight loss extremely difficult. These chemicals interact with your body in various ways:
1. By increasing the number of fat cells you have – the more fat cells you have, the more places fat can be stored
2. By increasing the size of the fat cells that you have – a larger fat cell can store more fat
3. By altering the hormones that regulate your appetite, food preferences and that regulate your metabolism – if your metabolism is lowered, it can make quick weight loss virtually impossible
Additionally, there is a significant cause for concern in that researchers have found that these chemicals can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus. If a fetus is exposed to these chemicals, the child will have a higher risk of struggling with obesity later in life. Additionally, because these chemicals will be in the child’s body, they will also have difficulty with quick weight loss.
Where Are These Chemicals Found?
The chemicals associated with weight gain and problems with quick weight loss are all around us. They are found in pesticides, medications, plastics, laundry detergents, canned foods, tiles, air fresheners, and many personal care products among other products. The problem here is even if you eat a healthy diet, choosing lean meats and fresh fish and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you may still be exposed to these problem chemicals. The Endocrine Society states that the rise in obesity levels matches the rise in the use and distribution of the industrial chemicals that may be contributing to obesity. The farming system, from meats and dairy products to fruits and vegetables has changed drastically over the last century. In order to reduce your risk of exposure to these chemicals, and reduce your risk of developing obesity, changes need to be made to your diet choices.
A simple way to reduce your exposure to the chemicals linked to obesity is to choose organic products whenever possible. Consuming organic fruits and vegetables and organically raised meat products will reduce the amount of chemicals that you’re eating. They may be a little bit more costly, but they are much healthier for you than traditional meat products and fruits and vegetables. Another way to reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals is to limit using plastic products whenever possible. This includes limiting the use of plastic wraps at home; trying to buy paper wrapped organic meats at the grocery store instead of ones that are wrapped in plastic, and buying fresh or frozen organic fruits and vegetables as opposed to canned ones. By making simple changes to the products that you buy, you will be decreasing your exposure to these obesity causing chemicals and you will have an easier time with quick weight loss.
The good news is, if you’re been struggling with obesity and have been exercising and eating healthy, you may just need to make some simple lifestyle changes to avoid these chemicals that may be interfering with your body’s ability to lose weight.