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Food Chemicals and Obesity

Food Chemicals and Obesity

If you’ve resolved to lose weight this year, then one thing you’ll want to give up are conventional foods that are filled with chemicals. Not only can they be destructive to your overall health, but they can also make and keep you overweight, if not obese.

We all know there are a myriad of reasons to avoid conventionally grown foods and their nasty, health-robbing chemicals. You’ll find everything from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, plastic pollutants and much more in conventionally grown foods—including chemicals called obesogens that disrupt hormonal systems, leading to weight issues and to obesity.

As if causing weight problems, including becoming overweight or obese, weren’t enough, these obesogen chemicals can also pave the way to heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. Even the American Medical Association supports the idea that obesogens play a strong role in our nation’s obesity rates.  

And just where are these obesogens most prominent? You can find them in pesticide-ridden and PCB-tainted “dirty dozen” produce such as non-organic apples; peaches; sweet bell peppers; celery; nectarines; strawberries; cherries; kale; lettuce; imported grapes; carrots; and pears as well as farm-raised fish and corn- or soy-fed chicken and beef.

And while we’re talking about chicken and beef, don’t forget that meat from cattle treated with hormones results in you taking in those hormones as well—hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in mega doses. Additionally, an anabolic steroid, trenbolone acetate, or TBA, is given to conventionally raised cattle to “beef them up.” Unfortunately, TBA is eight to 10 times as potent as testosterone—and you get it if you eat the meat of those cattle.

But, wait! There’s more. Many of these obesogens are fat soluble, so they will build up in fatty tissues of conventional meats.

And if you sink your teeth into a conventional steak, know that it hails from cattle typically receiving six different steroids—all of which are obesogens—and has about seven-and-a-half times as much fat as a “normal” steak has. Likewise, the antibiotics routinely given to poultry and cattle are obesogens, too, as is the soy fed to those animals and to farmed salmon. But that’s not all you’ll get with farmed salmon. They too receive antibiotics as well as a dye to “pink” them up. Ultimately, farmed salmon can have up to 10 times the amounts of pesticides, such as PCBs, as wild salmon.

You can also find obesogen chemicals in plastic compounds such as BPA in canned foods—tuna, soup, beans and tomatoes—as well as canned energy drinks or baby formula and in sports drink bottles. In fact, we produce six billion pounds of the obesogen BPA each year, and it can be found residing in a full 93 percent of our population.

Along those same lines, you can also find plastic pollutants, including phthalates (plastic softeners) that mimic estrogen—via xenoestrogens, which lead to estrogen dominance and other related health problems. Phthalates can be found in the lining of canned foods and beverages, sport drink bottles and pesticides, which, in turn, show up in our blood, urine, saliva and more. Worldwide, we produce approximately one billion pounds of phthalates each year.

With so many conventional foods packed with chemicals, including obesogens, make it easy on yourself—and your health and weight—and choose USDA Certified Organic for clean, healthy foods. 


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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