Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are linked to many negative health effects and it is important to avoid exposure as much as possible.

EDCs lurk in food packaging, nonorganic food, nonstick cookware, detergents, cosmetics, medicines, fabrics, pesticides, carpets and furniture that are treated with flame retardants.

An endocrine-disrupting chemical that exerts permanent and even transgenerational changes to fat cells is sometimes called an obesogen. Research shows obesogens are highly correlated with obesity and diabetes.

There are many practical ways to avoid exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and obesogens:

  1. Beware of certain cookware — Non-stick pans contain perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, chemicals that slow the metabolism rate and cause weight regain. Cast iron and stainless steel cookware are good alternatives. Use glass to store your food and reusable storage bags at home and to bring food home from the supermarket.
  1. Fight indoor pollution — Flame retardants used in mattresses, carpets, furniture and electronics accumulate in household dust, impairing thyroid function. Open windows and use a wet mop to diminish them. Check if your upholstery has added flame retardants.
  1. Eat organic and avoid canned foods — Organic food is free from GMOs and pesticides, which may disrupt the thyroid, impair cognition and cause cancer. Choose grass fed, humanely raised meat and dairy products. Canned foods may contain bisphenols, which are estrogenic and make fat cells larger. They persist in the environment and double Type 2 diabetes risk. Don’t use pesticides on your lawn and if you do, remove shoes when you enter your house.
  1. Don’t microwave and avoid packaged goods — A “microwave safe” label is misleading because microscopic polymers break down and get into food. Processed and packaged foods contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, pesticides and other obesogens. Phthalates in food packaging and take-out containers can impair lipid and carbohydrate metabolism increasing possibility of weight gain.
  1. Avoid vinyl and plastic — Use a cloth shower curtain that can be machine washed. These stay cleaner and last longer than vinyl. Replace luggage and backpacks with products made of organic blend canvas.