Over the last two to three decades, the prevalence of adults who have a body mass index greater than normal has risen dramatically in wealthy industrialized countries, and also in poorer underdeveloped nations. In the United States, more than 60 percent of adults either have a body mass index greater than normal or are overweight.
While many factors may contribute to being overweight, one of the most surprising factors to emerge is the exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants. For a number of years, researchers have proposed that there is an association between endocrine disrupting chemicals and weight management issues. Then a paper published in 2002 demonstrated that the epidemic of weight gain coincided with the marked increase of industrialized chemicals in the environment over the past 40 years. The author of the paper further pointed out that alterations in food intake and/or decrease in physical activity could not solely explain the current trend of being overweight. She referred to studies where chemicals were linked to weight gain, and proposed that these toxic compounds were interfering with weight homeostasis by altering weight-controlling hormones, altering sensitivity to neurotransmitters, or altering activity to the sympathetic nervous system.
There is a steadily accumulating amount of evidence to link environmental toxins to being overweight. For example, consuming farm raised salmon, being frequently exposed to phthalates, parabens, PCB’s, BPA, also DDT and other chlorinated toxins which seem to interfere with lipid metabolism and fat cell production causing weight gain. One of the targets of endocrine disrupting chemicals is thought to be adipocytes (fat cells).
Based on the role that environmental chemicals play in weight management issues, a two-step approach to dieting is needed. The first step is to develop an effective weight management regimen. The second step is to minimize exposure to any toxins stored in the body while undergoing this weight management program. One of the important things to keep in mind in regards to any weight management program is that losing weight can mobilize the toxins that are stored in fat tissue. Ironically, when toxins are stored in fat tissue they are being kept away from critical organs in the body and this can provide the body with some protection against the toxins.
Remember, if you are planning on dropping some serious pounds, to consult with your family wellness doctor about things you can do and nutritionals that you might be able to take to allow the body to deal with these toxins as the body is releasing them from the fat cells. No matter how one chooses to lose weight, engaging in a detoxification regimen at the same time is essential.