Chemicals Linked to Obesity

In mice, common chemicals trigger fat cells and "feed me" hormones
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2007 10:46 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Chemicals found in everything from baby bottles to cleaning agents might be triggering the obesity epidemic, causing fat cells to grow and multiply out of control. A Centers for Disease Control study suggests that exposure of mice to chemicals like tributyltin—used in fungicides and plastics—increases fat cells, which in turn leads to the release of a “feed me” hormone.

What’s worse, this vicious cycle can’t be broken with diet or exercise: The problem starts in utero, lasts a lifetime, and is irreversible. One chemical, bisphenol A, commonly used to fatten up livestock—and in water bottles and canned food—was found in 95 percent of people tested, and at levels that matched the morbidly obese lab mice raised on the stuff.