The group that fought for (& won) Connecticut's BPA bans. Now running the CT Campaign for Toxic-Free Kids.
Posted on March 11, 2010
By 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:
You can learn more about chemical obesogens here:
José T. Bravo is Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance based in Chula Vista, California.