Monthly Archives: September 2011

What Whole Foods Market Is Doing To Help Us Reduce Our Exposure to Obesogens – Part II

Whole Foods

As discussed yesterday in the first installment of  “What Whole Foods Market Is Doing To Help Us Reduce Our Exposure to Obesogens“, Whole Foods Market  is taking steps to make us more aware of products containing obesogens. Yesterday, we discussed their use of obesogen-free take-out containers, and changes that are being made in their “Cleaning Supply Aisle”. What else is Whole Foods Market doing?

Whole Foods Market is also helping us make more informed choices when it comes to personal care products. They clearly label products that they have rated “premium” or “organic” body products. All of these products had to meet a strict set of criteria, set by Whole Foods Market. They have banned the use of over 400 chemicals in the personal care products they sell. Whole Foods implemented this rating system because there are few government standards set in regards to what the word “natural” means when it came to body care products.

◦ “Premium Body Care Products” do not contain parabens, polyproylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates or sodium laureth sulfates. The only permissable “fragrances” will be those made from “natural essential oils” and “components of natural essential oils”.

◦  “Organic Body Care Products” will meet all the requirements of “Personal Body Care Products”, but will also be required to meet other standards. These products are the highest quality products available.

▪ If a company labels their product “organic”, the product must contain at least 95% organic ingredients and meet USDA National Organic Standards

▪ If a company claims their product is “Made with Organic X”, the product must contain 70% organic ingredients and meet USDA National Organic Standards

▪ If a product is labeled “Contains Organic X”, the products must contain 70% organic ingredients and meet NSF/ANSI 305 standards

Whole Foods Market is making many positive advances in their product packaging. According to their website, they have done more than any US retailer when it comes to keeping the customer informed and taking the actions needed to find safe packaging alternatives. Some of the advances they have made include:

◦ They use Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) in packaging for their ‘private label’ products, when possible. PETE is a plastic that is not known to leach any carcinogenic or hormone- disruptive chemicals.

◦ They have banned child cups, baby bottles, and individual refillable water bottles that are made of polycarbonate plastic.

◦ When there are safe alternatives to packaging containing BPA, Whole Foods Market uses that alternative.

◦  They are putting pressure on their current suppliers to switch to BPA-free packaging.

It doesn’t stop here! Whole Foods Market is continually doing research to do everything they can to go completely BPA free. They hear us when we tell them we are concerned about the use of BPA, they are on our side. I feel relief that they are thoroughly investigating all of their   options, instead of making an uneducated change.

The standards set by Whole Foods Market are helping us make more informed purchases. They are allowing our voices to be heard in telling the industry that we want full disclosure of the substances that we are allowing in our households, that we want non-toxic cleaning products!

Sources:

Whole Foods Market – Products (http://wholefoodsmarket.com/products/)

Inhabitat – EATware Compostable Food Containers (http://inhabitat.com/compostable-containers-by-eatware/)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

What Whole Foods Market Is Doing To Help Us Reduce Our Exposure to Obesogens.

 

 

 

 

Whole Foods
“Is Your Shampoo Affecting Your Weight Management Goals?”
revealed a lot of information about the presence of obesogens in our environment. Since that post, I’ve found some really comforting news! Whole Foods Market is taking steps to make us more aware of products containing obesogens.   This means we will be able to make more informed decisions without having to read every label for every product we purchase, they’ve already done some of the work for us. What are they doing to make us more informed consumers?

  1. The take-out containers in their Prepared Foods Area are made of uncoated “molded pulp”. As mentioned in “Is Your Shampoo Affecting Your Weight Management Goals?”, many leaders in the food industry line use BPA-lined take-out containers to prevent grease and other liquids seeping through the containers.

According to ‘Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World’, some of the take-out containers at Whole Foods are manufactured by a company called ‘EATware’. EATware manufactures the containers using natural raw pulp fibers. The organic containers are water resistant, oil resistant, and free of chemical and insecticides. They are also biodegradable, recyclable and renewable. So, not only are we protecting ourselves, but we are protecting the environment too. Double win!

  1. On September 23, Whole Foods Market announced that they are moving towards an “eco-scale rating system” on their cleaning products. This new system is expected to be implemented by Earth Day 2012. This will allow time for their current suppliers to meet the new standards being set by Whole Foods Market. According to the Whole Foods Market blog, they are the first major retailer to set standards on their household cleaners.
  1. All cleaning products will be rated using a color system. No phthalates will be permitted in any cleaning products sold at Whole Foods Market (for a complete list of ingredients that will be considered ‘unacceptable’ for each color rating, check out www.wholefoodsmarket.com/eco-scale/unacceptable.php). All products will be reviewed by a third-party company.
    • An “orange” rating will be assigned to those cleaning products that are free of phosphates, chlorine and fake colors.
    • A “yellow” rating will be assigned to those cleaning products that contain 100% natural fragrance and have minimal safety concerns
    • A “green” rating will be assigned to those cleaning products that contain 100% natural ingredients and non-petroleum ingredients.
    • Any products that are rated “red” will contain ingredients that Whole Foods Market has deemed ‘unacceptable’. These products will not be sold in Whole Foods stores.

It doesn’t stop here! Check in tomorrow to read more about what Whole Foods Market is doing to help us reduce our exposure to obesogens!

Sources:

Whole Foods Market – Products (http://wholefoodsmarket.com/products/)

Inhabitat – EATware Compostable Food Containers (http://inhabitat.com/compostable-containers-by-eatware/)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

What You Need to Know In Order to Help Your Obese or ED Patient

Eating Disorder Research

photo used under creative commons license


Research has clearly established a relationship between neurotoxins such as MSG, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sweeteners Splenda and NutraSweet and the current epidemic of obesity. I believe that there is also a relationship between these neurotoxins and the proliferation of eating disorders in the US. For example, research has shown that patients suffering from Anorexia as well as those who are obese, suffer from a condition called leptin resistance.
1 ,2 Further, this condition appears to be a function of the type and amount of neurotoxin ingested. In my practice, when I have helped those suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Bulimarexia and obesity eliminate such neurotoxins from their re-feeding regimens, recovery time has shortened and the likelihood of relapse has decreased significantly. (I am in the process of publishing these anecdotal results and have also applied for several grants to research this relationship experimentally in greater depth.)

Treatment of obesity and eating disorders is negatively impacted for the uninformed treating professional i.e. re-feeding is a nightmare for those suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder and Obesity when the role of these neurotoxins is not taken into consideration. Thus, to the degree that their impact on the eating habits of individuals suffering from ED’s and obesity is not understood, or worse, ignored, treatment is less likely to succeed, and in many cases, more likely to make the problem worse. For help on refeeding contact me directly. Also check out all of the blog articles on this site. 3

For the past 40 years food additives, known to have neurotoxic effects, especially in children, have been added to the American food supply because they were profitable. These additives include MSG, sweeteners Aspartame and Aceulfame, (Splenda and NutraSweet) growth-enhancing hormones, and pesticides that are incorporated into the DNA of crops like soybeans. The amount of these neurotoxins added to our food has increased enormously since their introduction. For example, since 1948 the amount of MSG doubled every decade. By 1972 over 262,000 metric tons were being added. (Whetsell, 1993)[1] Today it is impossible to determine the actual amounts of the various neurotoxins that are added to the U.S. food supply, as the additives are effectively unregulated by the FDA or any other regulatory agency. As a result, they can be added in ways which make them difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Besides being difficult to quantify, the additives are very difficult for the average consumer to identify, as they can be called such innocuous names as “citric acid” “malted barley” and “natural flavoring”! Even for individuals who are well-informed, and therefore know what to look for, it is still a daunting task to try and avoid them. Presently, they are in 90 to 95% of all packaged, bottled, and/or processed foods, including organic and/or foods that are marketed as “healthier” choices.

Perhaps the most alarming issue is that food manufacturers target children’s foods for inclusion of these additives. In the U.S. to day, 1 in 3 children are obese. Many will remain that way for life. We are one of the only countries in the world to have children who suffer from Type II Diabetes, which heretofore has been a disorder of middle adulthood. The connection between childhood obesity and an eating disorder such as Anorexia, for example, is that a history of premorbid obesity increases the risk of the development and decreases the likelihood of recovery from the disorder.

1 J Lab Clin Med. 2002 Feb;139(2):72-9.Leptin in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: importance of assay technique and method of interpretation.

2 Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental [1997, 46(12):1384-9]Neuropeptide Y, galanin, and leptin release in obese women and in women with anorexia nervosa.

3 Other resources: http://dorway.com/ http://www.drkaslow.com/html/leptin_and_amylose.html www.msgtruth.org/obesity.htm

 

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Is Your Shampoo Affecting Your Weight Management Goals?

Shampoo

photo used under creative commons license

When we think of managing our weight, the areas of our lifestyle we look at are usually diet and exercise. Right? What if there was something lurking in your shower that was the culprit for some of these excess pounds? Obesogens; agents that when absorbed, contribute to obesity. Our world is full of them. They lurk in everything from the foods we eat to the receipt for things we purchase.

According to Leah Zerbe of Rodale, obesogens are “chemicals and compounds in our environment that disrupt hormones, making it hard to maintain a healthy weight”. Obesogens mimic estrogen, causing the body to send a signal to convert stem cells to fat cells. In addition to affecting our endocrine (hormone) system, research shows that obesogens may also cause cancer, birth defects, infertility, insuline resistance, ADHD, autism, and high cholesterol. The main sources of obesogens are pesticides, BPA, personal-care products, vinyl, non-stick products, PCBs, soy and nicotine.

Pesticides, which are designed to disrupt the hormone systems of pests, also affect the hormone systems of humans. Some genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are even designed to create their own pesticides.

So, what is the solution to this seemingly impossible situation? There are several easy things we can do to reduce the amount of obesogens we are exposed to.  There are also some more difficult things that will require more of a lifestyle change.

  1. We can purchase organic foods and avoid GMOs.
  2. Eliminating processed foods is also important, because they often contain soy and corn. Soy and corn are two of the most commonly modified crops in the US.
  3. In situations where organic produce is not accessible, a wash and rinse with a water and vinegar spray will remove many pesticides.
  4. To avoid BPA, choose fresh, jarred or frozen foods instead of canned. Cans are often lined with BPA to avoid a chemical reaction between the contained food and metal of the can. Some companies do not line their cans with BPA, but the chemical the do line the cans with has not been in use long enough to be deemed “safe”.
  5. Also, try to avoid getting receipts, whenever possible. Receipts are printed with thermal printers, and BPA is used during this printing process.
  6. Avoid using plastics. Use metal water bottles instead of plastic, use glass or stainless steel food storage containers.

If you really want to get serious:

  •     Vinyl contains obesogens called “phthalates”. Many shower curtain liners are made of vinyl. We can used hemp shower curtain liners as an alternative. Hemp is naturally anti-microbial, and has a much longer lifespan than vinyl.
  •     Non-stick coating is found on many products, including cookware, microwave popcorn bags, fast food packaging and non-stick cooking sprays. We can avoid being exposed to this obesogen by using stainless steel or US-made cast iron cookware, popping popcorn in coconut oil on the stovetop, and using healthy oils (such as coconut or olive oil) to cook our foods.
  •     Personal care products and household cleaners contain many obesogens, including phthalates, petrochemicals (petroleum products), and parabens. The ingredients “fragrance”, “parfum” and “perfume” are 95% petrochemicals. By eliminating products that contain “fragrance”, we can eliminate up to 700 petrochemicals from our lives. When shopping for personal care products and household cleaners, avoid any products containing ingredients ending in “eth”, such as “sodium laurETH sulfate”.
  •   Anything ending in “eth” was produced using petrochemicals. Also, avoid any ingredients containing the words “methyl”, “propyl”, “butyl”, “ethyl”, “mineral oil” or “paraffin”, these are all parabens. Some products use a “natural” preservative called “grapefruit seed extract” but petrochemicals are used to derive this extract from the seed.

According to “green beauty expert”, Paige Padgett, good quality safe personal care products are available. Some companies that make these products include: Jane Iredale, Eco Nvey, Primitive, Suki, David Babaii, and Prima Vera. Seventh Generation makes safe household cleaners. Visit www.paigepadgett.com and www.rodale.com for additional suggestions for safe personal care products and household cleaners. Rodale also offers tutorials on creating your own household cleaning products.

Sources
Rodale – Where Health Meets Green (http://www.rodale.com/)
Paige Padgett – Green Beauty Expert (http://paigepadgett.com/)
Croxton, S. (2011, July 21). The Organic Manifesto. Underground Wellness Podcast. Podcast retrieved from www.undergroundwellness.com
Michaels, J. (2011, April 8). Fat is not the enemy and green beauty. Jillian Michaels Radio Show. Podcast retrieved from www.jillianmichaelsradioshow.com

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

How is the Weight Loss Industry So Successful When Dieting is Not?!

The Diet Industry Makes Billions of Dollars Every Year

photo used under a creative commons license

 Dieting without exercise fails 95 percent of the time, yet the U.S. weight loss industry is a 130 billion dollar per year industry. So a lot of people are using weight loss products. How can a group of products fail so spectacularly but sell so well? Perhaps one reason is the Consumer Trade Commission (CTC) does not regulate the false claims that advertisers of weight loss products make.

According to the CTC, there are at least one false claim in 74 percent of the ads in tabloid publications. The report went on to say that many of the ads that were identified as making false claims also appeared in mainstream media publications such as Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Day, McCalls’s, and Redbook.

The danger of false claims is that they give the mistaken impression that weight loss is easy, which adds to the frustration and hopelessness of overweight individuals, causing many of them to give up and/or go to the extremes that lead to other disorders. The CTC says that it does not regulate this industry because there are too many ads to regulate. Seriously?

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Federal Trade Commission: Protecting America’s Consumers – Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/reports/weightloss.pdf)