Weight Loss Green - Our Daily Green

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Weight Loss Green

As the New Year begins, one of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. People join gyms, revamp their diets, eat more vegetables, drink more water, avoid sugar, any plethora of typical weight loss plans. They buy books, they go to classes, join support groups. The diet industry is worth billions. People diet and diet and sometimes lose weight, sometimes do not, and often regain the lost weight. Frustrated and dejected, they abandon their diets and exercise feeling helpless to battle the bulge.

There is another factor contributing to weight gain and our obesity epidemic that often goes ignored.

Dr. Bruce Blumberg, professor of cell biology at University of California in Irvine, disccuses the affects of such chemicals in great depth in a report released in 2006.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) are commonly considered to be compounds that mimic or block the transcriptional activation elicited by naturally circulating steroid hormones by binding to steroid hormone receptors. For example, the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 defines EDC as those, that "may have an effect in humans that is similar to an effect produced by a naturally occurring estrogen, or other such endocrine effect as the Administrator may designate." The definition of EDC was later expanded to include those that act on the estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone receptors. In this minireview, we discuss new avenues through which xenobiotic chemicals influence these and other hormone-dependent signaling pathways. EDC can increase or block the metabolism of naturally occurring steroid hormones and other xenobiotic chemicals by activating or antagonizing nuclear hormone receptors. EDC affect the transcriptional activity of nuclear receptors by modulating proteasome-mediated degradation of nuclear receptors and their coregulators. Xenobiotics and environmental contaminants can act as hormone sensitizers by inhibiting histone deacetylase activity and stimulating mitogen-activated protein kinase activity. Some endocrine disrupters can have genome-wide effects on DNA methylation status. Others can modulate lipid metabolism and adipogenesis, perhaps contributing to the current epidemic of obesity. Additional elucidation of these new modes of endocrine disruption will be key in understanding the nature of xenobiotic effects on the endocrine system.
The New American Diet: How secret "obesogens" are making us fat, and the 6-week plan that will flatten your belly for good!In layman's terms, several chemicals that permeate our daily lives can disrupt the hormones and metabolism and interfere with insulin production. Scientific evidence shows that certain chemicals block our hormones and disrupt the body’s normal functions. This class of toxins includes PCBs, DDT, dioxin, some pesticides, and many plasticizers, like BPA.

Jose Bravo, Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance based in Chula Vista, California, considers such chemicals environmentally unjust. In an essay regarding the childhood obesity issue, he explains,
... [we] should look at all the different factors that are affecting children. And take special notice of the fact that some American children live in communities that face a disproportionate risk from toxic chemicals, because someone thought it was OK to dump hazardous waste there. That has been our legacy—maybe since the industrial revolution. But this legacy isn't limited to poor people or people of color any more—these dangerous chemicals are in cans, baby formula, food wrappers, cookware and more. All of our children are at risk.
To avoid the "obesogens", as they are called by Stephen Perrine, author of  The New American Diet, look closely at the refrigerator and pantry for hidden chemicals, including,
Pesticides and PCBs on foods such as: non organic peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, pears,  unsustainable fish: farm-raised salmon and corn/soy-fed beef and chicken. Additionally look at plastic compounds (in particular BPA) that line canned foods such as canned tuna, soup, beans and tomatoes, and canned beverages such as energy drinks, baby formula, and plastic sports drink bottles.
When we resolve to drop some pounds, it may well involve more than moving more and eating less. We may need to reconsider what we are eating and where it comes from. Indeed, greener food choices may not just affect our planet and our health, but also our weight.

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