Can Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Cause Obesity?

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After reading about the endocrine system in chapter 3, I found myself very interested in this hormone releasing structure. In search of an intriguing story, I googled "endocrine system." To my pleasant surprise I found numerous articles on the topic, but one jumped out at me immediately--"Are We Programmed to Be Fat?"
In the article, reporter Nancy J. White writes on a documentary by CBC titled "Programmed to Be Fat?" This film explains that while in the womb a fetus is exposed to many man-made chemicals via the mother, chemicals that may lead to obesity. The documentary follows three different scientists who used chemicals on animals in their research and noted unusual obesity in these animals. After digging deeper the scientists discovered that the chemicals used were in fact endocrine-interfering chemicals, which then caused negative developmental affects. The chemicals can be found in everyday items such as plastics, metal cans, flame-retardants, cosmetics, and pesticides.
Of course as our textbook teaches us, we must remain skeptical of all new studies; however, I found the article to be very interesting and thought provoking.


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The endocrine system and hormones is interesting, especially compared to and contrasted with the nervous system and neurotransmitters. This article should be read with skepticism because no clear link has been proven and the role of genetics is unclear as well (as mentioned in the article)!

this is a really interesting post. I wonder how much research they have done since this documentary. I'm sure that many would freak out to learn that using a certain type of makeup might make their child 'programmed to be fat.' I guess another question I have is if the chemicals are made naturally by mothers, whether it is the genes or the environment in which the fetus grows that may create this predisposition.

It's crazy to think that the type of makeup you use could affect whether or not your child will be obese when they grow up. There are already a lot of scares as being a new mother, adding this can't make anyone worry less. Interesting blog, well done!

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This page contains a single entry by hasle027 published on January 25, 2012 2:59 PM.

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