Already in 2006, Felix Grun and Bruce Blumberg, two biologists from the University of California, published the results of a research about synthetic chemical molecules that contribute to the development of obesity.
These chemicals, which the researchers called "obesogens", are synthetic molecules that disrupt the balance of lipid metabolism, as they are known to be endocrine disruptors. Since 2006, studies have identified approximately 20 "obesogenic" substances, at least 3 of which are highly prevalent in most American households.
You've probably heard of Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been used in the manufacture of rigid polycarbonate and epoxy resin plastics since 1957. It is probably the best known and most present endocrine disruptor. Thus, it is found in water bottles and most household plastics, but also in cans with a plastic film inside.
Although many scientists have sounded the alarm about BPA exposure, the Food and Drug Administration disagrees, claiming that exposure to small amounts is not harmful to health.
A study published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has shown that BPA from these containers can contaminate the food and beverages they contain and have numerous endocrine impacts. Many studies confirm these data and the link between BPA exposure and obesity.
Phthalates are other chemical molecules that are used in the manufacture of soft plastics. They are also excessively prevalent in our daily consumer products. These contaminating molecules are also present in children's toys, pharmaceutical products, Tuperware-type containers, cosmetics packaging, cans, etc.
The list of products that contain these endocrine disruptors is very, very long... 3 independent studies found that increased waist circumference and abdominal fat were directly related to elevated blood levels of phthalates.
Another study in molecular and cellular endocrinology published in 2009 proved that phthalates can trigger weight gain by disrupting hormone receptors that have a key function in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.
Perfluoro octanoic acid (PFOA) is another long-chain chemical considered "obesogenic". It is present in the non-stick coatings of cooking utensils. Made from Teflon, it is present in the blood of 98% of people living in the United States. It also has negative health effects.
According to recent studies, products containing fluorine or bromine are more likely to be involved in thyroid problems, another endocrine gland.
Other studies have found that high PFOA exposure increases the risk of chronic kidney disease and various cancers. It also deserves to be included among the "obesogens".
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