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Common Plastics May Increase Your Child's Obesity Risks

March 10, 2007 | 12,194 views

Endocrine-disrupting environmental chemicals, including some found in everyday plastics and pesticides, may influence obesity. When fetuses are exposed to these chemicals, their gene function may be altered, causing a greater risk of obesity and disease.

An individual exposed to these chemicals as a fetus could eat the same thing and exercise the same amount as someone with a normal metabolic system, but be far more likely to become obese.

Researchers examined the effects of these chemicals, including bisphenol-A, on lab mice. They caused the mice to be born with abnormally low birth weights, and then gain abnormally large amounts of weight over a short period, more than doubling their body weight in just a week.

The mice were then obese throughout their lives. Similar effects have been observed in low birth weight children.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Folks, you just have to be very careful with your use of plastics. While some are relatively inert, it is important to realize that they are all synthetic and as such have the potential to leach potentially toxic products into your local environment, which can have quite serious health-damaging effects.

On the heels of my recent warning about the dire effects of bisphenol A (BPA) on your baby's fertility comes another report that blames endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA on exacerbating your child's risks of obesity. BPA disrupts the effect of estrogen in the developing brain at surprisingly low doses, and alters the expression of important developmental genes.

Scientists estimate there are about 1,000 man-made chemicals that can be designated as endocrine disruptors, and they can be found in common plastics, pesticides and electronics.

Babies who are born underweight come programmed with a metabolic system designed for starvation that maximizes the use of all food children consume. All the more reason to protect your children from toxins as much as you can in their foods and drinking water and from personal care products they may use. Some common sense tips you can use today to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals:

On Vital Votes, biochemist Russ Bianchi from Soquel, California adds:

"One of the dirty little, or rather HUGE, secrets in the US government is that EPA has set proven toxicity standards of exposure for many of the chemicals Dr. Mercola mentions in this posting, that are in every day use in most households and human exposure at much higher levels.

"Additionally, the EPA standards are typically IGNORED, and NOT ENFORCED AT ALL under food, beverage, dietary supplement, cosmetic, flavor and pharmaceutical regulation.

"Let the user beware, and take charge of you own health, because clearly the majority of government regulators or enforcers do not care, or have been instructed to do nothing, and have FAILED YOU."

Other responses to this article can be viewed at Vital Votes, and you can add your own thoughts or vote on comments by first registering at Vital Votes.

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