From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/29-4
The global obesity/diabetes epidemic is receiving wide spread attention like the June 26, article in the Washington Post by David Brown. One fourth of our national health care bill of $2.3 trillion is linked to the treatment of diabetes and its complications. Average American life expectancy is now dropping because of this disease complex. Even children are being recommended for gastric bypass.
Fingers everywhere are pointing at the usual suspects: too much junk food and lack of exercise. But there is much more to the story than a recent, contagious lack of discipline among the masses. Standing next to us in the room, some very large corporate elephants are being ignored.
A growing body of evidence in animals and humans suggests that many man-made chemicals contaminating our environment mimic some of the body’s own hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Researchers have called these chemicals endocrine disruptors because they wreak havoc with endocrine organs like the thyroid, pancreas, testes and ovaries that depend on hormones to develop and function properly. But a new, more relevant term for these chemicals has emerged. They are now also called obesogens.
Exposure to tiny amounts of obesogens during embryonic development has startling effects on animals, resulting in obesity, infertility, feminization of male species, ambiguous sexual characteristics and high death rates.
Wishful thinking by the EPA and FDA and outright propaganda from chemical manufacturers have upheld the notion that the doses of human exposure to such chemicals have been too small to matter. Medical science now clearly repudiates such a position and environmental contamination is emerging as a significant contributor to the obesity/diabetes epidemic.
In a remarkable study of 2,000 Americans those people with the highest blood levels of PCBs, dioxins and pesticides had a rate of diabetes 38 times higher than those with the lowest levels. Just as startling, in the group with the lowest levels of chemical pollutants there was no correlation between diabetes and obesity.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/29-4