"Obesogens": Shifting the Narrative

June 25, 2024

The traditional ideas surrounding obesity are being challenged by the emergence of the obesogenic model. This model introduces the notion of obesogens – environmental agents capable of disrupting metabolic processes and increasing risk of weight gain.

Obesogens include a range of substances, spanning from industrial chemicals like glyphosate to common household items such as plastics and fragrances, all of which interfere with hormonal regulation and promote the formation of fat cells.

Studies spanning generations have highlighted the significant role of obesogens in increasing the risk of obesity within families. Children born to mothers struggling with obesity tend to display a heightened risk themselves, regardless of their upbringing. This indicates the profound impact of genetics and prenatal exposure to obesogens on weight “programming”.

Additionally, early-life exposure to obesogens disrupts gene expression patterns, alters endocrine function, and influences the development of adipose tissue, thereby laying the groundwork for obesity and related metabolic disorders later in life.

Acknowledging the influence of obesogens enriches our understanding of the obesity epidemic and emphasizes the need for environmental interventions in obesity prevention and management. By addressing obesogens alongside conventional strategies, like dietary modifications and physical activity, healthcare practitioners can embrace a more holistic approach to combating obesity and promoting metabolic well-being.

Moving forward, let’s shift the dialogue surrounding obesity away from personal "failings" and towards understanding the multifactorial and complex nature of the disease.

This means advocating for policy changes that support vulnerable populations, particularly women of childbearing age and their offspring. By prioritizing access to nutritious foods and minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals during critical periods like preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood, we can lay the foundation for healthier futures.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before starting new diet, supplement, medication, exercise, or other health plan. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or emergency services immediately. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website belong that only of the author of that blog article and not any organizations they may represent.
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