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Could daily exposure to toxins cause weight gain, even obesity?

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toxins and thyroid healthEmerging research reveals everyday exposure to toxins can contribute to weight gain. Termed ‘obesogens’, these potent environmental chemicals have the potential to cause weight gain, even obesity.

Dietary, pharmaceutical, and industrial compounds alter a range of processes within the body which in turn can increase the risk of being overweight and obese. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association even children are at risk.

Researchers found children exposed to high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) are five times more likely to be obese than children with low levels. BPA mimics oestrogen, the main female hormone. This means this compound is capable of having effects similar to oestrogen in the body. In excess oestrogen activity is harmful to both the male and female body.

Exposure to BPA is widespread as this toxic chemical is used in the lining of aluminium cans, baby bottles, printed store receipts, plastic containers and medical devices. Sure an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are certainly risk factors for obesity but studies such as this add to the evidence of a possible link between environmental toxins and spiraling obesity rates.


Holtcamp W. Obesogens: an environmental link to obesity. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Feb;120(2):a62-8.

Trasande L, Attina TM, Blustein J. Association between urinary bisphenol A concentration and obesity prevalence in children and adolescents. JAMA. 2012 Sep 19;308(11):1113-21.


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