Are Plastics Making America Fatter?
By Sarah (Steve) Mosko
Still disappointingly chubby after cutting back on junk foods and exercising regularly?
Two-thirds of U.S. adults are now either overweight or down right obese. And while an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle can contribute to an expanding waistline, evidence is accumulating that exposure to substances in everyday plastics and other industrial chemicals can fatten you up too.
Doctors gauge fatness by the Body Mass Index (BMI), based on a person’s height and weight. For adults, the cutoffs are 25 for overweight and 30 for obesity.
The average U.S. man or woman now has a BMI of 28.7, according to the Centers for Disease Control. One-third of adults are overweight, and another third are obese. Even those at the lower end of normal are showing an upward trend.
And not just adults are tipping the scales. A national survey of children and teens found that 32 percent are overweight or obese. Even animals seem to be gaining weight, including domestic pets and feral rodents. The ubiquity of the problem has led scientists to suspect environmental influences.