Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUESTION: I put on some weight during winter, but usually I can run/jog it off by July. This year it’s not happening.
Recently, I heard that plastic water bottles — I drink a lot of bottled water — are made with endocrine disruptors that prevent you from losing weight.
Is that true?
— Dan B., Stamford, Conn.
ANSWER: Yes. You could be affected by the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), also called obesogens, which are found in many plastic bottles/containers and migrate into food and liquids.
Back in 2010, “The Doctor Oz Show” reported the “White House’s task force on childhood obesity is tackling obesogens, and the Environmental Protection Agency has pumped $20 million into studying them.” Fast-forward to 2018, and we’re going backward: The current Environmental Protection Agency’s Bottled Water Fact Sheet was posted on epa.gov in February 2017, but the info is dated September 2005 (too out of date to offer any info relevant to hormone disruptors!). The risks are totally overlooked.
Recent findings show that endocrine-disrupting obesogens such as bisphenol-A and its cousin BPS found in plastic water bottles promote adipogenesis, lipid (fat) accumulation and cause weight gain. These chemicals mimic the body’s natural hormones, bind to estrogen receptors and disrupt your metabolism. EDCs also are known to accumulate in body fat over the years.
Science has uncovered these risks at a time when plastic water bottle consumption is reaching epic proportions. Around 50 billion plastic bottles are used in the U.S. annually. Years of exposure and increasing exposure may be important contributors to the obesity epidemic: 38 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese while 70-plus percent are overweight, and around 20 percent of children ages 3 to 17 are obese.
So Dan, get a water bottle made from a relatively inert metal, like stainless steel, or a plastic one that contains neither BPA or BPS (avoid all drink containers marked with recycle numbers 1, 3, 6 and 7. Discard plastic water bottles if they become worn or scratched. At home, use only glass containers and filter tap water.