Mother Earth Living

14 Ways to Reduce Your Obesogen Intake

These 14 steps can help reduce your family’s obesogen exposure.
By Jessica Kellner
January/February 2014
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Use glass containers to store food to avoid obesogens.
Photo By Dmitry Kutlayev/Veer
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Simply put, an obesogen is a chemical that causes weight gain. Obesogens work differently in every body, but they have negative implications on our health. Find out more information on obesogens in Obesogens: The Hidden Culprit of Weight Gain.

Here are 14 ways you can avoid obesogen exposure.

1. Avoid using plastic containers for food storage—glass and stainless steel are excellent alternatives.

2. Avoid plastic baby bottles and children’s cups. Klean Kanteen, Pura, 5 Phases and Dr. Brown’s offer stainless steel or glass options.

3. Be aware that even plastic labeled BPA-free may harbor endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

4. Avoid foods in cans lined with BPA. Some companies, including Amy’s Kitchen, Eden Foods, Trader Joe’s and Wild Planet, offer foods in BPA-free cans.

5. Filter your drinking water to remove common contaminants such as arsenic and lead.

6. Never use chemical pesticides in or around your yard.

7. Avoid microwave popcorn; its bags are lined with the obesogen PFOA. Instead, opt for air-popped, skillet-popped or microwave popcorn in plain brown bags.

8. Dust, vacuum and mop frequently to cut down on the chemicals that accumulate in household dust.

9. Don’t buy nonstick cookware. Opt instead for cast iron, stainless steel or enameled pots and pans.

10. Remove your shoes at the door to keep pesticides and other outdoor chemicals from entering your home.

11. Avoid phthalates in children’s toys. Watch words include vinyl, PVC or the #3 recycling code. A “plasticky” smell is another fast giveaway.

12. Choose parks that are pesticide-free. Many towns have organizations that support and report parks that don’t use pesticides. Try searching “pesticide-free parks” and your city name.

13. Forgo stain- and water-protecting treatments on furniture and carpets. They usually contain the endocrine-disrupting chemical PFOA.

14. Many obesogens are pesticides, particularly fungicides, so choose organic food to cut back on chemical consumption.


Resources for Combating Toxic Chemicals

The following organizations actively campaign against the use of toxic chemicals in everyday products. Check out the following websites for more information about how to avoid all types of toxic chemicals and learn more about campaigns for better environmental regulations.

Beyond Pesticides

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Environmental Working Group

National Resources Defense Council

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

Workgroup for Safe Markets


Weight-Related Resources

Weight loss is the subject of a slew of new research, much of it focused on why losing weight and keeping it off turns out to be so difficult for so many people. A good documentary on this subject is Fat: What No One is Telling You.

The New York Times Well blog is a good source for current news on the science of diet, weight loss and other health issues.

Other useful resources include the Weight-Control Information Network for science-based advice on healthy weight loss; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on obesity and health; and Let’s Move!, which has numerous resources for tackling issues related to childhood obesity.


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