The obesity epidemic is skyrocketing. According to an article in USA TODAY 9/18/12 (Obesity On The Rise) on the front page, the Center for Disease Control puts the obesity rate on track to be 50% of all Americans in 2030. In 2010 it was 35%. Heck, right now almost 70% are overweight or obese...I guess it will be 80% plus by then.
Of particular concern to me (I have a 7 year old daughter) is the rapidly climbing childhood obesity rate, and there may be more to it than just poor food choices and sedentary lifestyles. A recent study links BPA to obesity in children. Here is an excerpt from an article (also in USA today) entitled:
But the findings, in today's Journal of the American Medical Association, add to a growing body of research -- in both humans and animals -- questioning BPA's safety, says Philip Landrigan, director of Children's Environmental Health Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
"It's a credible study and it has to be given some attention," says Landrigan, who was not involved with the study.
In particular, the study adds to the notion that certain chemicals are "obesogens" that alter the body's metabolism, making it harder for people to lose weight, even with diet and exercise, says Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who was not involved in the study.
"Are we programming people to fail?" Birnbaum asks. "That's the question we need to ask, instead of blaming people."
Exposure to BPA -- an estrogen-like chemical used in everything from plastic water bottles to the linings of metal cans and even the coatings on certain paper receipts -- is nearly ubiquitous. More than 92% of Americans over age 6 have detectable levels in their blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new study drew on CDC surveys of 2,838 kids and teens, ages 6 to 19.
My Take: So what can we do? Well, as parents we can make sure we are educated on diet, health and nutrition, so we can make healthy informed decisions for ourselves and our children. I have found that a diet centered around "plant foods" is best. My favorite resource is Dr. John McDougall, MD.
I also recommend Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" Initiative to help fight childhood obesity.
And stay away from products that contain BPA. This is not that hard to do. And make sure you and your children are getting plenty of exercise. Not all kids have PE in school, and should have 60 minutes of exercise per day. Most of the killer diseases like heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer are rooted in poor lifestyle choices. You can make a difference!
Dr. Eben Davis is founder and clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in San Francisco.