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Obesogens: How Household Chemicals May Be Making You Gain Weight

This week on the Harmony with Food Radio Show, I talked about obesogens - the toxins found in the environment and the food and household products that you use every day. Learn what they are, how they affect our health, and how they're linked to weight loss.

People come to me regularly and say they’ve tried all the diets, exercised regularly, etc., yet they still can’t lose weight. When we dig deeper, I find that the key is resolving other symptoms first. If you’re struggling with constipation, bloating, or low energy, we can do testing and take a look at your gut bacteria. Then, I can work on correcting it so that we increase the good bacteria and decrease the bad. Once you have more energy and aren’t suffering from constipation anymore, for example, weight loss will follow.

Obesity Statistics

There is new research showing that weight loss is more than just calories in vs. calories out. As recently as 1990, obese adults comprised less than 15% of the population in most states. By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25% or higher and 12 of those had rates of 30% or higher. So, obesity has increased three-fold over the past 40 years and has doubled worldwide in the last 20 years. In the last 30 years, obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in teens.

Endocrine Disruptors and Obesity

In 2013, a study appeared in the Mainstream Journal of Toxicology titled ‘Endocrine Disruptors and the Obesity Epidemic.’ This study linked endocrine disruptors with obesity for the first time.

These endocrine disruptors include things we are drinking from, foods that are unhealthy but are engineered to act on in our brains as pleasure centers to keep us addicted and keep us coming back for more, foods that come from plastic, chemical pesticides, medical devices, paint, air fresheners, and numerous beauty and personal care products.

Obesogens You Encounter Every Day


BPA, which is found in plastic bottles and containers has been shown to cause fatty liver, increased abdominal fat, and glucose intolerance in animals. In recent years, companies have started to replace BPA with alternatives like BPF and BPS, but research is showing that these aren’t safe either.


Chemical pesticides used in conventional farming, especially DDT and DDE, have been definitively linked to increased BMI in children. They have also been shown to lead to insulin resistance and diabetes in rodent studies.


Another obesogen to watch out for is PFOA and PFOS (these are known as PFAS), which are found in nonstick coatings such as Teflon, food packaging, microwave popcorn bags, backpacks and luggage, carpeting, and clothing. It has even been found in water.


TBT, or tributyltin, is a powerful fungicide and bactericide that was once used in paint on ships. It still contaminates seafood and can be found in vinyl, plastics, heat stabilizers, and as a wood preservative.

Other Obesogens

Those are just a few of the obesogens we are exposed to on a daily basis. Others include high fructose corn syrup, MSG, BDEs, soy, nicotine, parabens, and air pollutants.

What can you do to avoid obesogens?

With so many chemicals in our environment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like there’s nothing you can do. As a functional nutritionist, that’s what I’m here to help with. We can do testing and find out what is affecting you most. I can teach you what to eat, what to avoid, and help you re-balance your gut and start feeling better.

If you’re feeling like you can’t lose weight no matter what you do and you’ve hit a brick wall, you can set a free call with me using the link below.

Episode Transcript


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