Posted by: Chris Maloney | October 12, 2011

Obesogens: It’s Not The Food Making You Fat. It’s the Additives.

McDonald's patron, 2006.

Image via Wikipedia

The KJ covered a recent talk by Bruce Blumberg, a biologist who is concerned about hormonal disruption from a variety of environmental factors.  Professor Blumberg’s hypothesis is that multiple chemicals are messing with our ability to lose weight.

Blumberg’s “fringe” idea is to avoid plastics and to eat organic food.  But, according to our local pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Michael Dedekian its too soon to make those recommendations to parents with obese children because “we just don’t know yet.”

Really?  What don’t we know?  Do we not know that childhood obesity is at an all time high?  Do we not know that infertility rates have risen extraordinarily?  Do we not know that multiple chemicals affect fertility, which would mean they have profound effects on human hormones?

Or do we not know that every single diet intervention based on caloric restriction is not successful in the long-term for the vast majority of patients?  But in the article we have yet another expert, the nutrition manager at Maine Medical, arguing yet again that it’s those darn video games and inactivity causing the problem.

Ok, people in the U.S. should move more for multiple health reasons.  They should eat better for multiple health reasons.  But they don’t.  It’s an issue, but one that confuses a bigger issue.

The current weight increases that we have seen over the last ten years do not mirror a sudden change in dietary or lifestyle patterns.  The late 1990’s were NOT a time of increased exercise.  We’re actually moving more now than we did then (CDC data).  But we’re also much, much bigger.  The weight increases are happening in younger and younger people.

Picture it this way.  You’ve got a herd that doesn’t move enough and eats too much.  But they aren’t eating more than they were and they are actually moving more than they were before.  Based on the simple-to-the-point-of-being-totally-wrong calories in/calories out model, they should have lost a bit of weight.  Instead, they’ve increased weight dramatically.

It’s time to stop looking at a broken model of weight that leads to short-term gains and long-term losses.  We have to engage healthy, life long habits that include phasing out as many unnecessary chemicals as possible.

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