At a recent Newsweek conference, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger called upon greens to get fit and swell the ranks with sex appeal. As Georgetown students lined up to ask questions, Arnold beat them to the punch. “You look all pumped up. Did you work out this morning?” he asked a student in a baseball cap and tight t-shirt. “Look at those triceps. You are environmentally muscular,” the Governor proclaimed.
Alas, most Americans over 20 can only hope in vain for such praise. Sixty-six percent of us are overweight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And as if too many calories and too little exercise weren’t bad enough, some new studies are linking chemicals in everyday products to obesity. One scientist even coined the term, “obesogens.”
Exposure to phthalates--chemicals widely used as synthetic fragrancing agents, as well as in plastics--correlates to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance in U.S. adult males, according to a March, 2007 study in Environmental Health Perspectives online. The CDC says that all Americans have phthalates in our bodies, and previous studies have linked the chemicals to subtle genital and reproductive hormone changes in male infants. As the babies were exposed in the womb and through breast milk, women would be wise to avoid phthalates, too.
What to do? Read labels on products, especially ones you apply to your body. If you see the stand-alone term “Fragrance,” it’s likely synthetic and has phthalates, according to Consumer Reports. Choose products whose labels specify that they’re perfumed only with plant essential oils, organic where possible.
Greenerpenny’s Synthetic “Fragrance”-free Faves
Rose Day Cream, body lotions and new eye cream by Dr. Hauschka http://www.drhauschka.com/
Terressentials Left Coast Lemon Shampoo, terressentials.com
What Greenfemme wants for Mother’s Day: Skin treats from Stella McCartney’s new Care line, at http://www.sephora.com/
For the Green Man:
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps with organic manly essences of olive, hemp; Sun Dog body lotion in Patchouli Lime, http://www.drbronner.com/
Men’s Spice Island After Shave Balm and Men’s Ginseng Biotin Shampoo, http://www.aubreyorganics.com/
For Couples: Coco Zum Chocolate Body Butter, http://www.indigowild.com/ Yummy!
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