10 Crazy Obesity Triggers

Researchers are finding connections between everyday chemicals and the bulging-belt-line epidemic.

June 20, 2013

More Than Excess Calories

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There's more to the obesity epidemic than eating too many hot wings and excess sitting. Certainly, poor food choices, particularly too much sugar and sweeteners, and a lack of exercise are major pieces of the obesity puzzle. But a landmark 2002 study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found the obesity epidemic paralleled the increase of industrial chemicals in the environment.

Now researchers are finding that exposures to certain common endocrine-disrupting chemicals and other food ingredients—not just lifestyle choices—could be programming us for weight gain, diabetes, and related problems. "We have to acknowledge the fact that obesity is not just about will power, that it's not just all someone's fault," says developmental biologist Retha Newbold, MS, CT, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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