Lack of exercise and unhealthy lifestyles are the most common factors at fault for the rise of obesity in our world today. While unwholesome and busy lifestyles take the majority of the blame for this modern epidemic, some scientists believe that there may, in fact, be other hidden causes. Proof of this possibility lies in rural, less developed areas of the world. The lean lifestyles of the people in these regions haven’t changed much since their villages were first developed many years ago, yet we continue to see a rise in obesity in these areas. Another point for concern, is that even a wide variety of animals, wild and domestic alike, have an overall increase in body weight. These points lead experts to believe that there may be a hidden environmental component at play, contributing to the surge in the worldwide obesity epidemic.
Scientists believe one of these hidden components could be the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere. A century ago, the average level of atmospheric CO2 was 180-300 parts per million. Currently, our atmospheric CO2 level reads at 400 parts per million. A drastic increase more than likely tied to the growth of air pollution. When CO2 is inhaled, it causes blood in the body to become more acidic, and the more CO2 inhaled, the more acidic the blood becomes. When blood becomes acidic, a signal is sent to specialized cells in the brain that causes an increase in hunger. Researchers believe that the rise in CO2 levels in the air we breathe contribute greatly to the increasing trend in weight gain that continues to rise. Don’t think you’re safer indoors. CO2 levels indoors are actually even higher than CO2 levels outside! More time is spent indoors in modern times with the changes in the human lifestyle, which in turn contributes to this theory.
There are chemicals in the human and animal body called “obsenogens”. These are chemicals that cause people and animal to retain fat. There are studies that show that there are at least 20 different compounds commonly found in the environment that interfere with obsenogens, causing a change in the hormonal function to promote fat storage. Common compounds such as Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, tributyltin compounds (TBT), and many frequently prescribed medications have been shown to interfere chemically with obsenogens, causing fat retention. Research also shows that it is possible to genetically pass altered obsenogens to offspring, even though the offspring has never encountered any of the compounds that cause the malfunction. Disturbingly, some of these altering compounds are present in tap water! Investigations of the contents of tap water have shown that the tap water contains abundant medications and other by-products that don’t get filtered out with filtration systems.
A more apparent change causing the increasing trend in obesity is the human diet. As humans evolved, nature found plants and wild game have been exchanged for processed foods and genetically modified grains. There are studies that show that processed and genetically modified foods could be tricking the human body into overeating and storing more fat than necessary, due to chemical triggers found in our modern foods. Chemical triggers such as linoleic acid, which is found in soybean and vegetable oils, potentially cause the reactions. Another chemical trigger is seen in artificial sweeteners, which is found in diet sodas and numerous other foods/beverages. This particular chemical found in artificial sweeteners causes the suppression of an appetite reducing hormone, which results in overeating and weight gain. Fructose is another example of a commonly found element that is bad for the body. Consuming fructose actually fails to satiate hunger, despite the ingestion of calories.
Another apparent factor in the epidemic is the ever-evolving human sleep pattern. Demanding work agendas, artificial light, and high-tech distractions have all combined in the daily life of the human to reduce the average length of a sufficient sleep cycle from 9 hours, to 7 hours. Studies show that sleep deprivation and weight gain actually directly correspond to each other. There is a relationship between lack of sleep, abnormal appetite regulating hormones, and insulin resistance. Any upset in this balance causes an unhealthy change to the human body in regard to weight gain.
The temperature of our environment plays a factor in obesity as well. Convenience to constantly be comfortable (temperature wise) comes with a consequence. Colder temperatures in fact require the body to exert metabolic energy to maintain our internal body temperature, causing an increase in food consumption. On the other hand, hotter temperatures seem to cause an overall reduction in food consumption. With the ability to regularly change the temperature of our environment for comfort, it is possible that an increase of obesity is found while searching for luxury and ease.
By recognizing the environmental factors that influence your body, you are then able to realize and discover the best approach for your own maximum weight loss and total health accomplishments.