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Causes of Weight Gain

Hidden Causes of Weight Gain by COEM in Charleston SC

There are many hidden causes of weight gain, visit The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) to learn more and get specialized care. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7510 North Forest Drive North Charleston, SC 29420. Patients routinely fly in to be evaluated by COEM, as we serve patients internationally. Find out if you have been exposed, extensive lab testing is available.

Hidden Causes of Weight Gain by COEM in Charleston SC
Hidden Causes of Weight Gain by COEM in Charleston SC

Hidden Causes Of Weight Gain

By Allan D. Lieberman, M.D.

From 1980 to 2002 adult obesity in the U.S. doubled, and childhood obesity tripled. Yet, the standard view of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle cannot explain this epidemic rise.

We would like to offer readers an alternative view as to what may be the real cause.

In 2002, Baillie-Hamilton authored a paper titled “Chemical Toxins: A Hypothesis to Explain the Global Obesity Epidemic.” The earth’s environment has changed markedly over the last few decades, with increasing use of synthetic toxic chemicals, many of which have powerful weight- promoting actions at low concentrations. For example, Dursban, the most popular pesticide used in the U.S. for many years, when fed to animals resulted in significant weight gain in contrast to controls in as short a time period as two months.

As shocking as it seems, Americans get 25 percent of their caloric intake from sodas, with each soda providing the maximal accepted 10 teaspoonfuls of sugar per day. Yet it may be the plasticizers and Bisphenol A used in the polycarbonate bottle and the cans that are major culprits in promoting weight gain. The Center for Disease Control reports the presence of these plasticizers universally in our bodies.

Bisphenol A has the same estrogenic properties as Estradiol and the physiological status of most Americans is that we are estrogen dominant. (And yes, even post-menopausal women can have relatively too much estrogen compared to other equally important female hormones.) Estrogen dominance causes fat to accumulate around the hips, thighs and abdomen. The estrogenic effect of Bisphenol A leached from soft plastics disrupts pancreatic function and induces insulin resistance, the other pathologic disease process that is now at epidemic proportion and the precursor of adult onset diabetes.

Initially offered as a hypothesis five years ago, evidence of these synthetic toxic chemicals promoting obesity is no longer theory but fact. Sadly, if you look around you, you will see plastic water bottles everywhere as people substitute water for soft drinks, thinking they are making a positive change in their diets. Parents and children must be aware of the relationship between their obesity and the increasing risk of diabetes from not only sodas but also toxic chemicals in most drink containers.

Obesity is thus a consequence of not only what we are eating but also what we are eating out of.

The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Center for Women’s Health at COEM offer a comprehensive program to help people control obesity safely and effectively. Call us today for more information.


• Alonso-Magdelena P, et al. The estrogenic effect of bisphenol A disrupts pancreatic beta-cell function in vivo and induces insulin resistance. Environ Health Perspect. Jan;114(1):106-12.
• Baillie-Hamilton PF. Chemical toxins: a hypothesis to explain the global obesity epidemic. J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Apr;8(2):185-192.
• Centers for Disease Control. Third national report on human exposure to environmental chemicals. National Center for Environmental Health report NCEH No. 050570, Atlanta, July 2005.
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