10 Surprising Household Items That Cause Obesity

We all know that a lack of exercise along with too many pastries, doughnuts and soda cause weight gain, but more and more research shows that many of the household and other items we regularly come into contact with may also be linked to weight gain. The reason: obesogens.

“Obesogens” is a term used to describe chemicals that disrupt our bodies’ natural ability to maintain a healthy body weight. They cause us to gain weight in one or more of the following ways:

1) They can alter metabolism by reducing the number of calories burned at rest

2) They can promote the storage of calories as fat

3) They can directly affect fat cells, also known as adipocytes, by increasing their fat-storage capacity

4) They can increase the number of fat cells in the body

5) They can alter the way the body regulates the feelings of hunger and fullness

6) They can alter gut flora which can cause an overgrowth of harmful infections linked to weight gain and other health concerns

There are many different types of obesogens (stay posted for my next blog that outlines the most common obesogens to watch out for). In addition to being prevalent in our modern society, they can also disrupt our delicate hormonal balance even in small exposures.

Here is a list of some of the worst and most surprising sources of obesogens that are contributing to our bottom line:

Baby Care Products—often contain the obesogens known as phthalates or dibutyl phthalates more specifically.

Blinds—most blinds are made with plasticizers known as polyvinyl chloride, which are linked to obesity.

Cosmetics—Similarly to baby care products, most cosmetics contain the obesogens known as phthalates and dibutyl phthalates, in particular.

Diet Soda and Diet Foods—In a twist of irony, the very products that are supposed to help people lose weight more often cause them to gain thanks to the addition of the artificial sweetener aspartame. In a study published in the online medical journal PLoS One, researchers found that consuming diet soda and diet food products had higher blood sugar levels, impaired insulin response (the body uses insulin to metabolize and regulate sugar), as well as significantly altered gut microbes, including the harmful ones known as Enterobacteriaceae and Clostridium, the latter of which is one of the culprits behind drug-resistant MRSA infections.

Purses—Many purses are made from polyvinyl chloride, a plasticizer that has been linked with obesity. Even touching items made with polyvinyl chloride can disrupt hormones and cause obesity.

Receipts—All those cash register receipts in our wallets and lying around our homes usually contain the obesogens known as bisphenol-A, or BPA, for short. BPA causes fat cells to become fatter.

Shower Curtains—Shower curtains frequently contain the obesogen tributyltin, an obesogen that disrupts hormones to cause weight gain.

Skin Care Products—Most skin care products contain the obesogens known as parabens which are well-established hormone disruptors linked to obesity.

Yoga mats—Like blinds and purses yoga mats frequently contain the obesogens known as polyvinyl chloride.

Plastic water bottles—usually contain both polyvinyl chloride and BPA—a double whammy when it comes to causing excessive weight gain.

For more information see The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out and “What’s Making Us Fat?

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9 Reasons to Ditch Bacon for Good

Photo Credit: Dan DeLuca

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