If you've been reading our blog for even a little while, you've heard terms like “hormone-mimicking” and “endocrine-disrupting” more than you probably care to admit. And now I'm throwing another one at you.
What are obesogens and where are they found?
The term “obesogen” was recently coined in 2009 by researchers to describe the known outcomes of a group of endocrine disrupting chemicals found throughout our current food system. Study after study links them to weight gain and, in turn, numerous other diseases that plague Americans.
Obesogens enter our bodies from a shocking number of sources other than plastics — natural hormones found in soy-based products, hormones given to animals, ingredients added to processed foods, and pesticides sprayed on produce. They act in a variety of ways: by mimicking human hormones such as estrogen, by misprogramming stem cells to become fat cells, and possibly by altering the function of genes.
The New American Diet arrives on the scene
This is extremely unsettling, and yet it rings true for me. My own experience with weight gain and constant issues with disruptions in my own endocrine system (namely Hashimoto's and recurrent, painful thyroditis) made me sit up and take notice when I heard an interview with Steve Perrine, author of The New American Diet.
And I honestly thought I had my family's diet pretty well lined out with organic meats, milk, eggs and produce – – until I finally broke down and watched Food Inc last month. I was shocked to learn how off-kilter our food system is and I was left feeling overwhelmed and wondering what to do next. It's difficult to find your way in a world full of pre-packaged, processed convenience food. Food that routinely contains untested chemicals that are legally hidden under the “artificial flavoring” label.
This is where the New American Diet came to the rescue for me. The book is so much more that a weight loss plan, laying out a doable strategy for avoiding chemical pitfalls based on current obesogen research.
- The important differences between naturally raised meats and factory farmed meats
- How high fructose corn syrup (which is found in 70% of all prepackaged food) can effect our sensitivity to leptin, resulting in false hunger
- The link between high levels of organochlorides in people and higher frequency of disruptions in their thyroid function (organochlorides are pollutants from pesticides sprayed on corn and soy which are woven into almost every facet of prepackaged food)
- How exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in children ages 7 and under can cause immediate effects, but can also lead to latent periods where children are set up for a host of metabolic problems
But it's not all bad news! I had the opportunity to interview Steve Perrine about The New American Diet about tips on how to best to avoid surprising obesogens in common foods and food packaging. In our recorded interview, you'll learn about his top 3 recommendations for getting started on the road to obesogen-free eating.
Check back for the interview on Monday morning 🙂