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10 Surprising Things That Are Making You Fat

Bottle fed babies may be at risk for adult obesity

Bottle fed babies are more likely to become obese adults.

Bottle fed babies are more likely to become obese adults.

What Makes You Fat? The Answer Might Surprise You!

You ask the question, "What's making me fat?" as you diet year after year, lose weight and gain it back. If permanent weight loss sometimes seems impossible, there might be some surprising reasons why you are having trouble losing weight. The good news is, it’s may not be all your fault! The bad news is that some factors that are difficult to control could cause you to gain weight despite your best efforts.

Your Environment Can Make You Fat

You might think that the list of ten things that make you fat would include calorie laden foods like pie, potato chips, chocolate or your morning Danish. While these things definitely are not diet fare, you may be surprised to learn of the seemingly innocent things in your daily life that increase your risk of obesity.

Below are some surprising answers to the question, "What's making you fat?"

1. Your Spouse and Your Friends

Eating fattening foods is a bad habit that you can "catch" from your spouse. John Gray, PhD, the recognized expert on relationships and author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice, says that spouses have a strong influence on each others habits. If your spouse loves rich deserts, gravy and pastries, you could “catch” those fattening habits and gain weight – even though your spouse isn’t fat!

Or you can blame it on your friends! If just one of your friends becomes obese, you are 57% more likely to gain weight, too. If a friend of a friend gains weight, you are still 20% more likely to gain weight. Really, you’re getting second-hand fat!

2. Your Air Conditioner

No, there are no calories in cool air, but one study found that women burned 250 more calories a day in 80° air than they do in 70° air. Sweating may not be as comfortable as relaxing in a cool 70° environment, but it will help you to burn calories. On the same number of calories, a woman in the cooler environment will gain a half pound a week. That’s 26 pounds a year for enjoying your temperature controlled environment!

How to Combat Factors That Contribute to Obesity

  • Bottle fed baby? There's no turning back time, but you can be aware that you need to be extra vigilant about what you eat.
  • Overweight friends? Spend time at non-food related activities where you won't be tempted to participate in overeating. Go for walks, bowling, mini-golf, plays...
  • Keep junk food out of the house or at least out of sight.
  • Use smaller plates. Don't put bowls of food on the table, but put servings on your plate in the kitchen.
  • Substitute water for diet soda.
  • Avoid cosmetics that contain phthalates (those that have the acronyms DBP, DEP, DMP, DEHP, BxBP or DMP).
  • Avoid fragrances in cosmetics and personal care items.
  • Use a water filter on drinking water. It will help remove phthalates and other residual chemicals.
  • Avoid Number 3 plastics.
  • Look for BPA free plastics.
  • Buy hormone free organic meat and organic vegetables.
  • Take steps to relieve stress in your life.

3. Bottle Fed Baby?

No kidding! Don’t tell Mom, but it could be all her fault! If you were breast fed for at least 7 months, you are 20% less likely to be overweight as an adult. Children who were never breast fed have a 4.5% obesity rate compared to 0.8% obesity rate for children who were breast fed for 12 months or more. Poor Mom, she does get blamed for just about everything!

4. Your House

  • Many factors about your home could be contributing to the downfall of your diet.
  • An open floor plan makes it easy to see those enticing food advertisements on TV from almost anywhere.
  • If you serve food on large plates, it encourages you to load up on more food.
  • A kitchen and fridge full of junk food makes it hard to resist the things that are bad for your diet.
  • If your lights are dim in your eating area, food looks more attractive and encourages binge eating.
  • Yellow and red tones increase appetite.
  • To curb appetite, use more blues on walls and dishes and accessories. Use blue lights to make food look less appealing and curb appetites.

Diet soda can make you crave high calorie sweets.

Diet soda can make you crave high calorie sweets.

5. Drinking Diet Soda

While it sounds like a good idea to replace sugared drinks with diet soda, studies have repeatedly shown that drinking diet soda increases your chances of gaining weight. Why? It seems that drinking soda with the sweet taste, but without the calories to go along with it makes us crave those calories. Have you ever seen someone drinking a diet soda and eating a big chunk of cake or pie a la mode? That craving for calories could be the reason! It has also been shown that artificial sweeteners may lower your metabolism making it harder to burn off those calories. Instead of drinking diet soda, drink water.

How Obesogens Affect Your Body

Obesogen is a scientific term for chemicals that affect the hormones that regulate our metabolism and cause us to gain weight. The body mistakes these endocrine-disrupting chemicals for hormones that affect its reproductive, developmental and metabolic systems. Young children and pregnant women are particularly susceptible. Several studies have linked some of these chemicals to weight gain.

Where are obesogen’s found? Obesogen’s are found in cosmetics, plastics, food and drink packaging, environmental pollutants, growth hormones given to animals and pesticides.

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The obesogen, BPA is found in plastics. The U.S. produces six billion pounds of BPA every year, and it can be found in 93% of Americans!

6. Your Cosmetics or Shampoo

Chemicals in 70% of cosmetics, soaps and other household products throw hormones off kilter. Certain chemicals can cause the delicate balance of hormones in the body to go off kilter. Doctors at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York claim that phthalates, chemical ingredients in many household products contribute to obesity by throwing hormones off kilter. To avoid phthalates, check fragrances and cosmetics for these ingredients: "fragrances" or the acronyms DBP, DEP, DMP, DEHP, BxBP or DMP — they contain of phthalates. Avoid Number 3 plastics and fragrances.

*Note on Phthalates: In the U.S., Phthalates have been banned from plastic food containers and food wrapping including water bottles.

7. Food and Drink Packaging

BPA in cans and in plastics can upset hormone balance and affect weight. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen, is an ingredient in certain kinds of plastics including rigid plastic water bottles and the linings of food and drink cans. It makes lab rats put on extra weight and throws off the body’s natural weight control system by upsetting its hormone balance. In humans, BPA is linked to heart disease and diabetes

To avoid Bisphenol (BPA), avoid No. 7 plastics, use a stainless steel reusable water bottle, limit your consumption of canned foods and drinks, don't store or microwave foods in plastic and look for products explicitly marked "BPA free."

8. Stress

Does stress cause weight gain? Yes, it can! Under stress, the body produces a stress hormone, cortisol, which triggers it to dump stored sugar into the blood stream. Cortisol will increase insulin levels and make the body crave fats and carbohydrates that will eventually lead to weight gain. The over-production of cortisol caused by long-term stress is linked to storing fat in your abdomen around internal organs and in your torso.
Combat the effects of stress on your diet by taking steps to reduce stress. ().

9. The Meat You Consume

Hormones in meat can make you fat. Stephen Perrine, author of The New American Diet: How Secret “Obesogens” Are Making Us Fat, and the 6-Week Plan That Will Flatten Your Belly for Good!, says that many animals are treated with hormones to make them grow larger and faster. If you ingest meat that comes from a hormone treated animal, you could be getting the same effect from the hormones as the animal did! Fatter cows, chickens and pigs = fatter people! He recommends buying meat that was raised on smaller farms where the animals are not injected with steroids to promote growth.

Researches from ten different universities including John's Hopkins and Yale School of Medicine have concluded that steroid hormones used in animals and dairy cows can contribute to obesity. (From an article in the International Journal of Obesity.) Steroid hormones tend to collect in fat, so lean beef has less buildup of steroids. Animals raised on corn or soy typically have many injections of growth hormones while grass fed animals do not. It would be a healthier choice to buy meat from grass fed animals.

How Can Fruits and Vegetables Make Me Fat?

Pesticides used on fruit and vegetable crops can affect our hormones and slow metabolism.

Pesticides used on fruit and vegetable crops can affect our hormones and slow metabolism.

Organically grown produce is more expensive, but worth the extra cost.

Organically grown produce is more expensive, but worth the extra cost.

10. Even fruit and vegetables can make you fat

Many pesticides used on our produce can affect our hormones and genes. This can slow our body’s metabolism while increasing its ability to build new fat cells.

We all know that foods high in fats and carbohydrates are diet busters, but what about the low calorie fruits and vegetables? The bad news is that they could also be causing you to gain weight if they have been treated with pesticides. In particular, tributyltin, which is used in some food crops and anti-fungal boat paints, is suspected of triggering obesity.

Organic produce is expensive, but it is worth it to buy it whenever you can. If you can’t buy organic all the time, then Perrine recommends avoiding the produce with the highest pesticide residues: peaches, celery, apples, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes.

Make Better Choices

What's Making you fat?

Avoid risk of obesity- Make better choices

Looking at the many factors that can influence your metabolism, hormones and habits, it's no surprise that so many people have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.

While some things are out of our control, there are many factors affecting our weight that we can control by making healthier lifestyle choices. Be aware of how our friends, our homes, plastics we use and pesticides and chemicals in our foods can affect our weight. This awareness will help us make better choices for our families and for ourselves and help us to avoid some pitfalls outside of our diets that contribute to obesity.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Stephanie Henkel


Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on July 27, 2015:

Jcsales - Thanks so much for the complement! I'm happy to have you as a follower, and welcome to Hubpages!

jcsales on July 26, 2015:

Very nice hub. I am new in making hubs. And you are one of the great writers here. There is so much to learn from your writing. This is the reason why I followed you.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2015:

Many of these are things I am not even aware of. Thanks for this comprehensive hub. Some we have done away with like soft drinks and chips. We have more fish than red meat but what worries mere the fruits and vegetables. One can't really make sure as many of the organics are grown not far from where pesticides are used.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 20, 2015:

DebMartin - Sometimes organic food is hard to find unless you live in an area of farmer's markets and large supermarkets that sell it. Growing your own is another way of getting healthy foods. As for the shampoo, you can buy natural shampoos from specialty shops or do a search on phthalate free shampoo. Avoid products with fragrances as these often contain phthalates unless they are organic products. As a fellow boomer, I believe that our generation was raised to appreciate a healthier life style, especially if we grew up in rural areas where our mothers canned and froze home grown vegetables and our families got meat from local butchers or even grew their own. Thanks so much for stopping in, Deb!

DebMartin on April 20, 2015:

Thanks Stephanie. I'm doing a lot right... organic food for sure but buying in my rural area sure is a challenge. I didn't know about the shampoo. Do you have any shampoo recommendations? I use cosmetics so rarely I'm not overly concerned about that. Thankfully, I'm a boomer and was not bottle fed. :) Thanks again. Deb

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 13, 2015:

Aesta1 - I have been more and more concerned about produce and pesticides, too. We are currently staying in Imperial Valley near Yuma, Arizona where so much of our nation's lettuce and other produce is grown. Even though this fresh produce looks wonderful, I know that pesticides are used heavily. It's frustrating to try to find organic sometimes...

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 13, 2015:

I am really concerned about produce with the highest pesticide residues. In some places, you can't really buy organic or these produce are not accordingly labelled.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on December 08, 2013:

Teaches12345 - I've always drunk diet sodas, but now I'm rethinking that! Last year my son wanted to lose some weight and stopped drinking diet soda. He lost 30 lbs! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Dianna Mendez on December 07, 2013:

Stephanie, I stopped drinking diet sodas a few years back because I found the sweeter taste made me crave sugar more. Wow, who would have thought shampoo would cause you to gain weight. I learned a lot from this post and so glad I did.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 20, 2013:

CraftytotheCore - Some of the things our parents and grandparents used to keep babies content definitely were not good for their future weight control issues! I know that sweets were used so often as a reward when I was little that now I still crave a sweet when I am feeling down. Glad that the B complex vitamin is helping with stress eating! I'll have to look into that!

CraftytotheCore on August 20, 2013:

I'm doomed Stephanie. I am told that my grandmother used to put sugar in my milk bottle when I was a baby. LOL I just found this anti-stress magic pill that really seems to work. It's super complex B stress vitamin. I've been taking it a few days and it actually curbs my stress eating.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on April 28, 2013:

The some we don't want to change, for me at least, are the ones I should change. I'm just a stubborn person :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 28, 2013:

Hi Sunshine, Unfortunately, there are some things in life that aren't that easy to change (and some we don't want to change)...hmmm...stress and HubPages? Now the diet soda I could give up... :)

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on April 28, 2013:

Hi Steph, 13 months later and 5 and 8 are still my problem areas with a side order of 11. Uh oh!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on March 01, 2013:

MissJamieD - There are so many factors besides our diets that influence our weight. Glad you found this interesting. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

MissJamieD from Minnes-O-ta on March 01, 2013:

I love the subject idea of this hub. It definitely points out how many of us are gaining weight without realizing it. Great job!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 23, 2013:

Boulism - There's just no getting away from it - our spouses have a very strong influence on our eating habits! Especially if they are the ones doing the cooking! :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 23, 2013:

Your Cousins - Glad you like the article. Thanks for the read and for your votes.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 23, 2013:

Jools99 - It does seem to be more difficult to stop weight gain as we get older, and the environmental issues affecting our hormone levels don't help. It is good to know that it can't be all blamed on our diets, though. Thanks for your comments!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 23, 2013:

Nat Amaral - I'm so glad you enjoyed my article on things that are making you fat. Thanks for the read and for taking the time to comment!

Boulism from Short Beach, CT on January 23, 2013:

I agree that when your spouse is eating well you have a tendency to as well. I felt so good when my wife was pregnant with her first child because we ate a lot of protein and "good" fat.

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on January 23, 2013:

Guess I'll be shopping for blue plates. Thanks Stephanie for all the great info. Voted up and interesting.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on January 23, 2013:

Stephanie, great hub! I think there must be some truth (or maybe lots of truth) in all of these because like Nell, I eat a light lunch and a healthy dinner every day but losing weight takes me ages. I think hormonal changes have a massive influence for women as estrogen levels fall with age and this has been proven to cause weight gain - seems like we just can't win sometimes doesn't it?

Nat Amaral from BC Canada on January 23, 2013:

I am so glad I came across this. I have been put on diets since I was a child. Now I know that some of these factors could be the reason for my weight. Thank you so much! This is so appreciated. Natalie

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 22, 2013:

Midget38 - Thanks so much for your comments! and thanks for sharing!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 22, 2013:

Nell Rose - There are so many little things that can sabotage a diet. You've found one secret to success and that is to be aware of all the hidden calories in the little things that we tend to disregard - like sugar in our coffee or tea!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 22, 2013:

ExoticHippieQueen - I'm sorry! :) It does sometimes feel as if you can't win, but I think it is important to be aware of the pitfalls. Taking a look at your overall lifestyle is just as important as a healthy diet. Thanks for stopping in to read and for your comments.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 22, 2013:

It's amazing how we set ourselves up to become the victims of non-diet fare. So often overlooked! Very important, and I'll be passing this on, Stephanie.

Nell Rose from England on January 22, 2013:

Hi Stephanie, just came back to reread as I am on a diet, well its not a diet, I don't believe in diets as they just don't work! lol! trying to stick to them just makes us hungry! but I would like to add, get rid of sugar out of tea and coffee, over the last few weeks I have added at least 8 pounds! 8! oh my! so I cut out sugar, and added sweeteners an now I have lost at least 6 pounds so far and counting! lol! who would have guessed those little sugar cubes or spoonfuls would add up so much?

ExoticHippieQueen on January 22, 2013:

Ugh! You've made me so depressed! But it's not your fault. It does make one feel, though, that no matter what you do, you're doomed to gain weight.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 30, 2012:

Slackermom - Hey, I like your reasoning! Dieting without giving up food you love and getting your family to clean your house, too! :) Thanks for the smile!

Lisa Palmer from Attapulgus GA on November 30, 2012:

Interesting hub and really surprising. But the good news is- I can tell my family my fat is all their fault and they should feel bad enough to clean the house so I won't have to deal with it since it is obviously making me fat too. Oh yeah, they need to do it quietly so as not to stress me out which will also make me fat. Greatest diet plan ever!!!

Great Hub!!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 29, 2012:

Sgbrown - I'm with your husband -- I love cherry cobbler! But I imagine that making one every week could be detrimental to your diet. :) Glad you liked my hub. Thanks for your comments.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on November 29, 2012:

Who would think that diet sodas and shampoos would help make you fat! My biggest problem was hubby and his cherry cobbler. He loves cobbler and I was making one every week. I stopped making cobblers and lost 5 pounds almost immediately! Great information, voting up and more! :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 29, 2012:

Sharkye11 - You're lucky you don't have a sweet tooth like I do as I find it very difficult to resist sweets if they are around. It is a surprise, though, to find that non-food items can affect our appetites and our weight! Definitely do blame the AC and the shampoo! :) Thanks for stopping in to read and comment, and thanks for the share!

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on November 28, 2012:

Interesting information, and some it makes perfect sense, especially the hormones in the meat. I didn't know about shampoo.

Have to say I love my diet sodas though. I started drinking them when I was thirteen because I do not like the taste of sweets, and you will rarely find sweets in my house other than my husband's jar of peanut butter. I've always been right on the line between normal and a little underweight, but when I moved in with my husband (first time having air conditioning!) I gained fifteen pounds. Since we follow his diabetic diet, and I don't have any overweight friends, I am definitely going to blame that on the shampoo and A/C!

Voting this up and sharing! Awesome!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 27, 2012:

ExoticHippieQueen - It does give you a new perspective to know that there are many environmental factors affecting our weight. Glad you found this to be informative. Thanks for reading and commenting!

ExoticHippieQueen on November 27, 2012:

All I can say is "no wonder Ive been having trouble losing weight!" Thanks for this informative article.........

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 27, 2012:

Cathy Fidelibus - Sorry, taking an ice bath is even less appealing to me than dieting! But it goes to show you what people are willing to do to lose weight. Thanks for this interesting little tidbit!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 27, 2012:

Pavlo Badovskyy - I know that there are some people who have a problem gaining weight (not me, though!), and I'm sure that genetic factors enter into it. Thanks for reading my article and for your comments!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 27, 2012:

Vellur - I learned some surprising things while researching this article, and I'm happy to know that you found it informative. Thanks so much for your comments and for the share!

Ms. Immortal from NJ on November 27, 2012:

Excellent information very thorough.

Timothy Ferris, author of the 4 hour body, claims very cold temperatures can help you lose weight. He actually takes an ice cube bath once a week. No thanks :o)

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on November 27, 2012:

Your hub is interesting. I have an other problem. I wish to be thicker! I was always slim My weight is the same as it has been 25 years ago. So I quess genetic factors also mean a lot.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 27, 2012:

Very useful, thanks for sharing. I never knew air conditioners could be a cause, packaging is another thing new to me. Voted up and shared.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 05, 2012:

Shruti Sheshadri - While consuming too many calories is the most common reason for weight gain, it is simply astounding how many other things in our environment affect our hormone balance and our desire to eat things that cause weight gain. Thanks so much for stopping in to read and comment, and thanks so much for sharing!

shruti sheshadri from Bangalore, India on November 05, 2012:

These ideas are truly scary! such simple items, that we may not even ponder upon can even make us gain pounds is surely unbelievable.

All I have come across is articles listing the most common reasons for weight gain, but this one here, is highly interesting and does make us wonder. well written and highly informative, voted up and shared :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 08, 2012:

Alecia Murphy - I was very surprised about the shampoos also. It seems that we must be constantly vigilant about our environment, the products we use and the things that we eat. Thanks so much for your comments!

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on September 08, 2012:

This is quite fascinating and scary. Especially about shampoos and conditioners- that was one I was most surprised about.

Bottle fed babies also seem to not benefit in the long run. I remember reading if you were bottle fed, it increased the rate of having allergies.

I know now to be even more careful and it's not just about food.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 29, 2012:

pstrauble48 - As I did the research for this article, I came across some surprising information about how cosmetics and shampoo can affect one's body. Now I pay much closer attention to the personal care products I use! Thanks for your comments!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 29, 2012:

Wow, Stephanie. I had NO idea. I knew some of these fhings but most I did not and had never even consdiered especially the whole shampoo thing. It is good to know these things so that I can make some important changes. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 08, 2012:

Tara Lawrence - I'm glad you found the information in this hub useful. There are definitely many things out there besides our diets that can affect our weight. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Tara Lawrence on August 07, 2012:

Wow! This is a great hub! I didn't know some of the things you mentioned could make me fat but come to think of it, you have a point here. I should start avoiding those stuff then.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2012:

Talfonso - Stress can definitely affect your weight as well as cause other health issues! But you are right - exercise and healthy eating help tremendously!

talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on August 06, 2012:

Wow - that's a lot of things that would make me fat! I for one have to deal with #8! I'm taking care of an ill elder and I hate having to give into her demands day in and day out! Thankfully, I exercise, eat healthy, and do Oxycise!.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 05, 2012:

Starstream - It seems that every time I turn around, there's something that I love on the "food that is bad for you" list! It definitely encourages me to grow some of my own fruits and vegetables! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on August 05, 2012:

You have written an interesting article which certainly points out the difficulty of selecting the right foods and why. Chemicals in our agriculture seem to be causing many troubles. Who could believe an apple could be affecting weight gain?

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 05, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy - Wow, that's quite interesting that your husband lost weight when he switched from diet soda back to regular soda! I'm not a huge fan of soda, but when I do drink it, I drink diet soda thinking that it's better not to add extra calories. I may have to re-think this!

Thanks so much for your comments here! You always have something interesting to add!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 05, 2012:

Lovelovemeloveme - I'm so glad that you found my hub on what's making yo fat useful! Thanks for the read!

Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on August 04, 2012:

Very useful!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on August 04, 2012:

The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas, in and of themselves, can cause weight gain, or at least the inability to lose weight. They somehow trick the body into treating it like sugar, and still make you pack on the pounds. My husband's doctor told him he was better off to just drink regular soda instead of diet. And you know what? He switched back, and dropped quite a few pounds! He also found that it quenched his thirst better, and he drinks less soda than he did of the diet stuff. As for water--he won't drink it--he doesn't like it. (I'm not crazy about plain water, myself--no flavor.) But my husband is fond of wise-cracking, "Water??? You know what fish do in that stuff?!" LOL

Great hub, well researched! Voted up, interesting and useful. (But I'm so stressed out from reading a learning that no matter WHAT we eat or drink that SOMETHING is not good for us--or nothing is--that I just plain give up, and eat what I want and like. At my age, it's not like I have 40 more years ahead of me, so I'm going to enjoy my food. ;-) )

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

Green Art - Finding out that there are harmful chemicals in shampoos and cosmetics was a surprise to me! I am quite wary of food that may contain pesticides, but it seems that there is much more to be concerned about! Thanks for your comments and your votes!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

Millionaire Tips - Sometimes when I'm trying to diet, it sure feels as if the world is conspiring against me! :) Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

ChristinS - Since there are so many things in our environment that can sabotage our diets, it's more important than ever to watch what we eat and exercise! Thanks for you input and for the votes!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

Daughter of Maat - Learning about all the things that can affect your weight is an eye-opener! Though it's good to know it's not all our own fault, it's also frustrating to know that there are so many things we don't have a lot of control over that will affect our weight. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Laura Ross on August 04, 2012:

So many things in our environment to watch out for that can negatively impact our lives. I didn't realize shampoos could mess with your hormones. Thanks for the heads up so to speak.

Studies have come out about aluminum-based compounds being active ingredients in antiperspirants so it's not surprising shampoos can also be harmful. Growing your own food, making homemade cleaning products and make-up could turn out to be much safer than buying these items at the local grocery store. I'm all for less exposure to chemicals and pesticides. Voted Up and useful!

Shasta Matova from USA on August 04, 2012:

Wow, this is amazing that there are so many things that can affect our weight. It really is more than simply eating less and exercising more. The world is against us!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

FreezeFrame34 - We do need to be aware of the things in our environments that can affect us adversely! Good ol' Mom does get blamed for a lot, doesn't she? Thanks for stopping in to comment!

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on August 04, 2012:

Very interesting and informative!

A great lesson for all of us striving to be healthier!

And if all else fails, blame it on mom! ; )

Christin Sander from Midwest on August 04, 2012:

A very informative and useful hub and yes all these factors have to be taken into consideration along with portion control and exercise. The plastics especially concern me because they are so prevalent everywhere and don't even get me started on the hormone replacement therapy we all receive in non-organic dairy and meats. Voted up, useful and interesting.

Mel Flagg COA OSC from Rural Central Florida on August 04, 2012:

Fantastic hub! I've been trying to lose this last 20lbs but it's just so stubborn. Many of these things explain why. My hormones have always been out of control, so it looks like I'm going to have to become a total hippy and make my own shampoos and grow all my own food!

Voted up and awesome!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

Melovy - BPA is associated with so many health risks. It's certainly a good idea to reduce our exposure to it whenever possible. I just read your article on BPA free containers for kids. Great suggestions - I'm linking it to this article in the section on BPA.

Thanks for stopping by to comment and vote!

Yvonne Spence from UK on August 04, 2012:

Wow, this is really interesting Stephanie. I have written (and researched) quite a bit about BPA and other xenoestrogens but I had not realised they could lead to weight gain. Though I did know that weight gain can led to excess estrogen - sounds like it's a vicious circle.

Very interesting and useful hub. Voted up!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

rcrumple - Most smokers I know claim that smoking keeps them from gaining weight, but what you say makes sense. It's easy to get caught up in a vicious cycle! Thanks for your input!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

Donnah75 - Haha...we can try blaming it on Mom, but, as you say, there are so many other factors that affect our weight. Being aware of them will help us live and eat healthier. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

fpherj48 - I know exactly what you're saying! There are many factors that affect our weight that we can't control, but, like you, I just love good food (especially desserts)! I can't even blame it on my mother bottle feeding me... Thanks for the read and thanks for commenting!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

sgbrown - Eating a diet rich in organically grown vegetables and meat is so beneficial to your health as well as your budget! Good for you! Thanks for commenting and sharing!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

ignugent17 - It does make you stop an think about what all the chemicals in our lives are doing to us, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2012:

GoForTheJuggler - After living in the snow belt of New York State for over 30 years, I do believe what you are saying. Dealing with cold temperatures does take more energy! Thanks for pointing that out (though I don't know if I'd be a proponent of cold baths and showers. :)

Rich from Kentucky on August 03, 2012:

Not only am I a diet coke fanatic (basically, the only thing I drink besides morning coffee), but I find that smoking assists me in gaining weight. Sounds crazy? Well, how many smokers find themselves grabbing a candy bar, chips, or other calorie ladden tidbit in order to get the cigarette taste out of their mouths? Of course, upon finishing, we crave a cigarette, a natural act after eating, right? An endless cycle. Yet, as heard before and mentioned here, quitting cigarettes creates a need to substitute food for the cravings. Alas, I must resign to being an overweight person forever. Think I'll have a drink of diet coke and a cigarette to contemplate my fate.

Great Hub!

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on August 03, 2012:

What an informative list. Although I knew all along that it was my mother's fault for bottle feeding me. It certainly couldn't be the diet soda and sweets....oh wait. Maybe it isn't all mom's fault :-)

It is so important that we become more aware of the hidden elements of what we put in our bodies. Thank you!

Suzie from Carson City on August 03, 2012:

Stephanie.....Wonderful info.....and I appreciate and believe every word of it. Some of these reasons, I have seen printed a time or two in various articles.....and this is all valuable to know.

Alas, Stephanie......I must be a big girl and face the truth.....although some of the reasons here may be effecting "some" of my extra's pretty basic and point blank for me: Too much Yum-Yum........Too little ....exercise!! The End

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on August 03, 2012:

So many facts here that I did not know! I thought stress would cause you to lose weight. I found out different, the hard way. I do grow most of my own vegetables, which does help. My husband hunts, so we have a lot of venision which I use instead of hamburer or round steak. This not only helps us eat better, but saves a ton of money on the grocery bill. Thank you for sharing these facts with us. Voted up and socially sharing! Have a wonderful day!

ignugent17 on August 03, 2012:

Great Hub Stephanie Henkel. I did not know that shampoo and other cosmetics can make us fat. This is a great information. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and more.

Joshua Patrick from Texas on August 03, 2012:

Great list here, Steph! I will add, however, that the body burns fat to warm us when we are cold. While we may burn a few calories while we sweat, regular cold showers, cold baths, and cold temperatures can actually help us lose weight (in addition to proper diet and exercise). Granted, we probably don't want to run the AC 24/7 and keep the house at 60 degrees, but we can use the cold to our advantage if we want!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 03, 2012:

DanaTeresa - It never hurts to know more about how our environment affects us - sometimes the answers are surprising! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Dana Strang from Ohio on August 03, 2012:

I seem to be a possible canddate for 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. YIKES! Time to start being more conscious of those hidden unhealthy things I might be doing. Very interesting hib!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 23, 2012:

AudreyHowitt - I was surprised at that too! Of course, back when my children were babies, I didn't know I could be setting them up for obesity by giving them baby formula...gosh!

Audrey Howitt from California on May 23, 2012:

Wow--I did not know about the correlation between baby formula and obesity--fascinating!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 08, 2012:

m0rd0r - Glad you enjoyed my article on what's making you fat! Thanks for stopping by to read!

Stoill Barzakov from Sofia, Bulgaria on May 08, 2012:

Very good article Stephanie.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 08, 2012:


I'm so glad that you found my hub informative. Thanks so much for your very kind comments and votes!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 08, 2012:

Dear, Stephanie. You have wonderful information about something I didn't know before. You open my eyes about something around us that make us fat and I totally learn many things from you. Thanks for share with us. Rated up and useful.


Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 06, 2012:

Hi Nicole S - I was surprised by that information, too! Glad you found some interesting information in my hub!

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on April 06, 2012:

Very interesting hub! I hadn't heard about the pesticides that work against you when you eat fruits and veggies. That's good to know!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 05, 2012:

Vinaya Ghimire - Diet is certainly important, but there are also other factors at work - some that are beyond our control. I have to admit that I am prone to whining a little... :) Thanks for the read and comment!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on April 04, 2012:

Many people never consider these 10 points, but whine about their weight.

Useful and informative hub.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 04, 2012:

Hello Les,

It does sound like you have a healthy lifestyle. I'm also making more of an effort to eat pesticide free organic foods, and I'm glad that my husband enjoys gardening so that we have our own home-grown vegetables in the summer. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on April 03, 2012:

What a fascinating article. I have not heard about most of these. Pleased that some don't affect me - no time for make-up, no air conditioning, don't drink fizzy drinks diet or not - but I know I should change to organic food because I do have to eat!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 03, 2012:

Hi Dirt Farmer,

I was surprised that cosmetics and shampoos contain chemicals that can affect our hormones. It does make you think about all the ways our bodies are affected by the things we use every day. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 03, 2012:

Hi Peggy,

When I had my children breast feeding was not thought to be that much better than bottle feeding. I do feel guilty now that I switched them to formula so quickly...ya can't win! Thanks for the comment and share!

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