Posted March 22, 2012
Man-made chemicals present in homes, schools, offices, cars and food are probably contributing to the sharp rise in obesity and diabetes in western societies, according to a review of scientific literature published today.
Until now lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and poor diet were thought to be the main causes of the increase in both conditions.
Now the review of 240 scientific papers by two leading experts, Professor Miquel Porta of Spain and Professor Duk-Hee Lee of South Korea, suggests chemicals in plastics and other surfaces play an important and avoidable role.
Many are endocrine disruptors, which can change human hormones, including the stimulation of appetite and fat storage and regulation of sugar.
CHEM Trust (Chemicals Health & Environment Monitoring Trust), the British pressure group which commissioned the research, urged the UK Government and the EU to press industry to find safer alternatives.