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When it comes to gaining weight, wouldn't it be so much easier to blame, say, cooking in a nonstick pan instead of your poor diet and exercise habits? Well, turns out, you're in luck! Because that's exactly what a study at Harvard is suggesting. When we first came across this research, we were a little hesitant to believe it. How could using certain kitchenware result in not only weight gain, but substantial weight gain at that? As with all studies, the proof is in the numbers.
According to the International Business Times, foods cooked in nonstick pans may contain traces of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) which will contribute to weight gain. The researchers wrote:
"These findings suggest that environmental chemicals may play a role in the current obesity epidemic. Given the persistence of these PFASs in the environment and the human body, their potential adverse effects remain a public health concern."
The idea of environmental factors contributing to the obesity epidemic has been largely known. However, environmental chemicals contributing to the epidemic is a far more unsettling reality. See, environmental factors such as lack of access to healthy food can ultimately be changed through policy, charity, and awareness. These chemical factors seem to be out of our control.
We have a hard time believing that this is the first time traces of PFASs have been found in commonly used supplies. The International Business Times explained that PFASs are also found in stain-resistant carpeting and even in some types of food packaging. OK, that's incredibly problematic. Stain-resistant carpeting isn't being ingested, but clearly food packaging should not be a place for these chemicals if there's any solid link to weight gain.
The study group was fairly small, including only 621 obese people who went through a six-month weight loss plan. That said, after the weight loss program, many of the participants gained back their weight. Some, after 18 months, gained it all back. The study showed that people who gained weight drastically had PFASs in their system. Now, there could have been many different variables at play, but it seems as if the research is, at the very least, enough to further explore the potential harmful effects of PFASs.
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