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Diet diary: The link between chemicals and the obesity epidemic

Numerous studies have stated that chemicals and solvents cause weight gain, possibly by interfering with weight regulating hormones, neurotransmitters and altering the nervous system.

Written by Ishi Khosla |
August 28, 2016 5:59:26 am
 Chemicals, Obesity, Chemicals and Obesity, Health, Health Benifits, blood pressure, Heart disease, pesticides and solvents in food, Effect of Chemicals in our food, effect of Solvents in our food, Chemicals in our food, relation between chemicals and obesity, Co-relation between Obesity and food chemicals, Co-relation between chemical in our food and obesity, Health study, medical study, international medical study, latest news, world news Increasing number of studies now report that exposure to chemicals during critical periods of development in children– even at low doses alters developmental programming, resulting in obesity. (Representational Image)

Chemicals including pesticides and solvents in our food have been associated with increased risk of cancers, auto-immune diseases, neurological problems, reproductive and birth defects. However, what is new is the role of chemical toxins in the development of obesity and associated conditions including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

For the first time, a novel idea published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002 postulated the role of chemical toxins in the development of obesity. This hypothesis led to the review of data showing that the current epidemic of obesity coincides with the marked increase in the industrial use of chemicals in the last 40 years. Numerous studies have stated that chemicals and solvents cause weight gain, possibly by interfering with weight regulating hormones, neurotransmitters and altering the nervous system. These chemicals are also being included in the obesogen category, which refers to molecules that inappropriately regulate fat and lipid metabolism to promote obesity.

A study published in 2007 in the journal Environmental International measured concentrations of pesticides and chemicals in blood samples of 700 pregnant mother–child pairs A 10-fold increase in the mothers’ pesticide concentrations was associated with higher risks of generalised and abdominal obesity, higher blood pressure and increased weight in the child.

Increasing number of studies now report that exposure to chemicals during critical periods of development at low doses alters developmental programming, resulting in obesity.

Increasing evidence also links the widespread exposure to pesticides to the global epidemics of type-2 diabetes and obesity. A 2015 animal study published in the journal Environmental Research reported that mice exposed to a commonly used pesticide (organophosphate), showed increase in food ingestion, blood glucose, cholesterol and body fat regulating hormones including ghrelin, leptin and insulin.

Identification of these obesogens, originating from pesticides and chemicals in our food and gene-environmental interaction, is an exciting area of future research. Meanwhile, a healthy diet, regular physical activity and stress management is surely a prudent approach to safeguard our well-being.

📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

Author is a clinical nutritionist and founder of www.theweightmonitor.com and Whole Foods India

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