Scientists find new causes of obesity

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Obesity is a major health concern globally. Since 1975, the issue has grown significantly, with the World Health Organization reporting that the number of overweight individuals has nearly tripled.

This trend raises concerns about the causes behind the continuous increase in weight issues worldwide.

The reasons for obesity are often debated. Common theories suggest that consuming too much fat or carbohydrates, or not engaging in enough physical activity, might be to blame.

Additionally, some experts believe that internal factors like excessive production of certain fats or insulin—a hormone that regulates sugar levels—might contribute to the problem. However, these factors alone don’t fully explain the rise in obesity rates.

Enter the concept of “obesogens,” introduced by Barbara E. Corkey, a former professor of medicine and biochemistry at Boston University.

Corkey’s research proposes that certain chemicals, which she terms obesogens, could be playing a significant role in the obesity epidemic. Obesogens are thought to disrupt how our bodies handle fats and manage energy.

What exactly are obesogens? They are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s natural processes, leading to an increase in fat storage or changes in hunger signals.

These chemicals have been present in our environment for the last 50 years, found in various common sources including processed foods, drinking water, and even the air we breathe.

Corkey suggests that obesogens could be affecting the body’s “redox state,” a crucial signaling mechanism that helps determine whether the body needs more energy or has excess.

When this signal is disrupted, it could lead to increased fat storage or unnecessary hunger, even if the body does not need additional energy. This disruption can make managing weight more challenging, regardless of diet or exercise.

One significant source of obesogens is ultra-processed foods (UPF), such as snacks and candies, which have been heavily modified from their natural state.

Studies indicate that people who consume large amounts of UPFs tend to weigh more than those who eat less processed foods. Besides UPFs, everyday chemicals from fertilizers, plastics, and air pollution also contribute to the exposure of obesogens.

If Corkey’s theory proves accurate, it could revolutionize our understanding of obesity and shift the focus of weight management strategies.

Instead of solely concentrating on diet and exercise, we might need to consider how to eliminate or mitigate the impact of obesogens on our bodies.

To validate her theory, Corkey has proposed several experiments to test whether obesogens are indeed causing weight gain.

If her hypothesis is confirmed, identifying these chemicals and finding ways to reduce their presence in our environment or block their effects on our bodies will be crucial.

This research, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, invites further investigation by the scientific community.

Other researchers are encouraged to explore Corkey’s findings and conduct their own studies to determine if obesogens are a real and significant cause of obesity.

As we continue to battle the global obesity crisis, understanding all potential causes, including the role of environmental chemicals, is essential.

With ongoing research and increased awareness, we hope to gain a clearer understanding of how to effectively combat this complex health issue.

Whether you’re interested in weight management or general health, keeping informed about recent findings in obesity research can provide valuable insights and guidance.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight .

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.

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