Chemical Exposure & Postpartum Weight Gain

Buckle up to read an interesting article from the medical journal Obesity, published in September 2020. It’s unbelievable how things we are exposed to every day can contribute to weight gain. Yikes! Here’s a summary of some of the information the authors present about chemical exposure and weight gain.

Per‐ and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are environmental chemicals with potentially obesogenic (weight gain) effects. PFAS are used in a variety of products, including food packaging, stain‐ and water‐resistant fabrics, personal care products, and cooking equipment. US adults are primarily exposed through contaminated food, water, and indoor dust. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can be detected for years in humans. Despite a voluntary US phaseout of PFOS and PFOA beginning in 2000, PFOS and PFOA continue to be widely detected in the US population.

A large body of evidence links prenatal PFAS exposure to weight gain and obesity in children. Let me say it again. Exposure to these chemicals is harming our children and causing or at least contributing to excessive weight gain.

Here’s what’s new….until now, this hasn’t been studied enough to understand the impact on pregnant women, because we have been focused on the impact of these weight gain chemicals on children.

This study, in Obesity, finds that elevated pregnancy PFOA concentrations were associated with greater 1‐year postpartum weight retention and more weight gain at 3 years postpartum. In other words, these chemical exposures cause weight to stay on after pregnancy, and increase the risk of weight gain 3 years after delivery. Time to look around and see if you can reduce your own plastic and chemical exposure!

Thanks for listening…I wish you the best of health!



Categories: Obesity and Overweight, Weight Management, Diet, Exercise

Tags: , , ,

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