Sunday, September 29, 2019

6.7 Obesogens

 Locally grown foods usually find their way to your table within 61 miles according to the Seasonal Foods document. Fruits that are currently in season include: pomegranates, cranberries, and persimmons.

I think it is important for hospitals to incorporate seasonal/local foods into their menus for several reasons. They can help reduce transportation emissions by not shipping in fruit outside of a certain radius, they can support their local farmers and agricultural workers and invest back into their local communication, and they can expose their patients to real, wholesome, foods that are nutrient dense.

I had heard of obesogens before reading this article, but had only a vague understanding of what they were which was mostly due to their tell-tale name. The key new factor that I learned from this article was that obesogens are "dietary, pharmaceutical, and industrial compounds". I suppose I had not given much thought as to WHAT these things were - only that they were bad and had adverse effects on health and weight in both animals and humans. Still, I wasn't surprised that these things are manufactured as so many of the terrible things we ingest are manufactured by organizations making money on our failing health, growing waistbands, and desire for convenience and flavor.

 I chose to look at dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene.
What I found in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives was that this chemical pesticide is a DDT breakdown product and it has been linked to an increased BMI in children and insulin resistance in rodents. Most known obesogens (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene included) are endocrine disruptors which means that they alter the bodies endocrine system function and can cause cancer and/or tumors. Animal studies have done a great deal to link dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene to obesity though, interestingly, the animals often have fewer fat cells but these cells are much larger in size than normal fat cells so the animals end up with a higher BMI than desired.

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