Message Board: Is the environment to blame for those excess pounds?

Last week's report on a groundbreaking study that links chemical contamination in the womb with the worldwide obesity crisis triggered views from across the spectrum...

Pat Thomas

This research is not a one-off. The link between industrial pollutants and obesity was first exposed in 'The Ecologist' magazine in November 2006 and subsequently detailed in my book 'The 21st Century is Making You Fat'. The data is copious.


It seems to me that it's wishful (and potentially harmful) thinking to believe you can ignore the calories-in-calories-out equation and still expect to get thinner.


Wot? You mean it ain't because children spend too much time in their bedrooms because their parents are terrified to let them out, and feed them fast foods to prevent them waddling too far from home?

Jeremy Poynton

A question on this "research": in the UK, obesity is far worse among the poor. How is it that the poor are more exposed to pesticides than others?

Pat Thomas

When asking if the poor are more exposed, don't think narrowly in terms of pesticides, think more broadly about industrial pollutants of all kinds, which are hormone-disrupting. Hormone disruption and weight gain are intimately linked.


Why do people try to find any other cause than the obvious? If you eat too much relative to your exercise levels you get fat. "Obesogens are so ubiquitous that almost everyone now has them in their bodies" – so why isn't "almost everyone" fat?

Ken Webster

It is not surprising that research around pollution adds to the notion that our regulatory systems are under pressure. The body is not a simple heat engine with concomitant simple solutions, such as eat less or exercise more. It's far more complex.


Other causes of obesity: salt/ sugar/additives and spices; chemicals and hormones used in farming; poverty (impoverished people in developed countries consume cheaper food with high levels of fat and sugar); lack of social interaction.


Come on, fat people, you choose your weight. I and all the other thins choose ours.

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