Obesity is a big health problem all over the world. People are getting heavier, and this has been happening since 1975.
This isn’t just a small issue – according to the World Health Organization, the number of overweight people has nearly tripled since then.
But why is this happening? Scientists have been trying to figure out the answer for a long time.
Some people think it might be because we are eating too much fat or too many carbohydrates.
Others think it might be because we don’t move around enough or because our bodies produce too much of certain fats or insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that our bodies use to manage sugar. All these things could be part of the problem, but they might not be the whole story.
A New Idea: Obesogens
Recently, a scientist named Barbara E. Corkey has suggested a new idea. Corkey, who used to teach medicine and biochemistry at Boston University, believes that certain chemicals might be making us gain weight. She calls these chemicals “obesogens”.
You might be wondering what obesogens are. Simply put, they are chemicals that might disrupt the way our bodies work, specifically how our bodies manage fats.
These chemicals have been around for the last 50 years and can be found in many places in our environment. They are in the food we eat, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe.
How Do Obesogens Work?
Corkey thinks that obesogens might trick our bodies into thinking they need more food or need to store more fat. She believes that these chemicals can change something called the “redox state” in our bodies.
This is a signal that our bodies use to figure out if they need more energy or if they have too much. If this signal gets messed up, our bodies might start storing more fat or make us feel hungry when we don’t really need food.
So where are these obesogens coming from? They might be in the ultra-processed food (UPF) that many of us eat every day.
UPF is food that has been changed a lot from its natural state, like chips or candy. Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of this kind of food often weigh more than people who don’t.
Obesogens could also be coming from the thousands of chemicals that we are exposed to every day.
These can come from fertilizers and insecticides that farmers use on crops, from plastics that we use all the time, and even from pollution in the air.
The Impact of Obesogens
If Corkey’s idea is right, it could have a big impact on how we understand and treat obesity. Right now, many of the ways we try to help people lose weight focus on eating less and moving more.
But if obesogens are making people gain weight, maybe we need to start thinking about how to get rid of these chemicals or stop them from messing up our bodies.
Corkey has some ideas about how we can test if obesogens are really causing obesity.
If these tests show that obesogens are the problem, the best thing we can do is figure out what these chemicals are and how to get rid of them. But if we can’t do that, maybe we can find ways to stop them from messing up our bodies.
The findings about obesogens and obesity have been published in a scientific journal. This means that other scientists can look at Corkey’s idea and see if it makes sense.
They can also do their own tests to see if obesogens are really causing people to gain weight. With time and more research, we will hopefully get a clearer picture of whether these everyday chemicals are contributing to the obesity crisis.
If you care about weight management, please read studies about berry that can prevent cancer, diabetes, and obesity, and 10 small changes you can make today to prevent weight gain.
For more information about obesity, please see recent studies about low-carb keto diet could manage obesity effectively and results showing popular weight loss diet linked to heart disease and cancer.
The study was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
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