Chemicals and Obesity

Published July 8, 2013

Food and HealthHealthObesity

While diet and exercise are important factors in the obesity epidemic, an emerging body of science demonstrates that exposures to chemical obesogens may be important contributors. A number of chemicals known to disrupt hormones also appear to affect the size and number of fat cells or hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. 

The U.S. is confronting the growing rate of obesity as a major public health problem. One-third of American children, and two-thirds of adults, are obese or overweight. The direct costs of treating obesity alone are $190 billion per year, which might be as high as 16.5 percent of national health care spending. While diet and exercise are widely recognized as important factors in the obesity epidemic, there is an emerging body of science showing that exposures to chemical obesogens may be important contributors. Obesogens are chemical agents that promote fat accumulation and alter feeding behaviors through various mechanisms, and we are all exposed to them every day. 

Read the full fact sheet: Chemicals and Obesity




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