5. Polybrominated biphenyls (PCBs): PCBs work through estrogen receptor pathways and affect the liver—not to mention PCBs have been shown to cause cancer. Their release into the environment has caused them to bioaccumulate in fish and other animals, so eating lower on the food chain a bit more in your diet can protect you from harmful levels of exposure. Why not try the growing trend of Meatless Monday? This would be a great start!
6. Soy: Despite its high levels of protein and other healthy attributes, soy promotes fat-cell growth because of its plant-based estrogenic properties. High doses of this legume and its form of drink cause weight gain. Babies and children are mostly affected, so it’s best to keep soy away from young children and to offer breast milk to babies over other supplemental drinks.
7. Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): If you use non-stick pans coated with PTFE, PFOA may be leaching into your foods. Found even in microwaveable popcorn bags, PFOA can have a negative impact on your thyroid gland. Stainless steel and/or cast iron pans are great alternatives to PTFE-coated pans.
8. Phthalates: Phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals, are common in personal-care products, especially synthetically fragranced products. Besides being linked to obesity, high levels of phthalates can affect the growth of children. Take a quick look at the ingredients in your favorite personal care products for “fragrance” or “parfum” and toss them if you find those listed. Air fresheners and scented candles are culprits too, so natural beeswax candles are a safer alternative.
9. Organotins: Harmful organotins can be found in vinyl (some flooring, purses, and shower curtains) and PVC plastics (pipes). According to a recent study, mice that were exposed to organotin tributyltin bore mice that were predisposed to weight problems. That said, try to avoid this obesogen by paying attention to what is in your household and cleaning your home on a regular basis, since PVC can hang around household dust.
10. Nicotene: Babies born to mothers who smoke throughout pregnancy face an increased risk of being obese during their developmental years. Second-hand smoke is just as important to avoid, and from third-hand-smoke, the toxins that linger in a cigarette after it has been put out still pose health risks, especially to babies and young children. “There are no safe levels of this stuff,” says Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, at the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
I hope this list helps because any step you can take to keep your body obesogen-free is progress towards a healthier and more successful diet.