Washingtons blog has a somewhat terrifying article up about our exposure to chemical toxins, and how it may be a major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic. Many of the chemical toxins contained in plastics and other common household products act as endocrine disruptors in the human body, and can have permanent effects on how our bodies regulate weight.
From the article:
Consumption of the widely used food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been linked to obesity.
Pthalates – commonly used in many plastics – have been linked to obesity. See this and this. So has achemical used to make Teflon, stain-resistant carpets and other products.
Most of the meat we eat these days contains estrogen, antibiotics and powerful chemicals which change hormone levels. Modern corn-fed beef also contains much higher levels of saturated fat than grass-fed beef. So the meat we are eating is also making us fat.
Arsenic may also be linked with obesity, via it’s effect on the thyroid gland. Arsenic is often fed to chickens and pigs to fatten them up, and we end up ingesting it on our dinner plate. It’s ending up inother foods as well.
A lot of endocrine-disrupting pharmaceuticals and medications are also ending up in tap water.
Moreover, the National Research Council has found:
The effects of fluoride on various aspects of endocrine function should be examined further, particularly with respect to a possible role in the development of several diseases or mental states in the United States.
Some hypothesize that too much fluoride affects the thyroid gland, which may in turn lead to weight gain.