In addition to poor diet and lack of exercise, endocrine-disrupting chemicals called “obesogens” may be contributing to rising obesity rates in the United States.
In a three-part review of recent research, scientists examined support for the “obesogen hypothesis,” which posits that chemicals commonly found in the environment are promoting obesity. They found ample evidence that so-called obesogens contained in makeup, soap, plastics, food packaging, and other consumer goods are interfering with human hormones, altering digestion, spurring people to eat more, or causing them to produce more fat cells. The review was published in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology.
“To the extent that obesogens result in weight gain, reducing exposures should prevent that weight gain,” the authors write. “We must inform the public, clinicians, and policymakers to reduce their exposures to these chemicals to improve individual health and reduce the societal burden of disease.”