Is Bottled Water Part of the Obesity Epidemic?

On June 23, 2017, in Features, by ukwfstaff

Does Bottled Water Make You Fat? And Might It Cause Cancer Too?

We all used to think that dieting was simply about calorie counting and exercise. But now scientists are taking a different view.

You may have heard about the danger of hidden chemicals in our food packaging.

Sadly there are many of these but in this quick article we’re going to look at bottled water and xenoestrogens.

These are man-made chemicals that mimic the effects of natural estrogens ie hormones in your body. (Xeno is from the Greek for enemy)

Even at surprisingly small doses these nasty group of chemicals can cause you and your loved one’s serious health problems such as:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Fertility problems, miscarriages and even and birth defects

They also cause a range of metabolic disorders which can include depression, listlessness and mood swings.

And they are proven to cause an increase abdominal fat (aka – stubborn belly fat).

Here’s a quick summary of the Science.

(Or you can cut to the “what the heck can I do” action steps below).

One of the worst xenoestrogens – and one we are most exposed to – is 
Bisphenol A (BPA).  It’s main use is to prevent the contents of a tin or plastic bottled from developing a metallic or plastic taste.

“Low doses of BPAs spur both the formation and growth of fat cells, the two factors that drive obesity in humans” (Masumo et al. 2002)


How do you come into contact with BPA?

Despite being so dangerous BPA is one of the most common chemicals produced worldwide.

It is a component of many plastic bottles including well-known ”healthy” brands of bottled water.

BPA is also often found in the lining inside tinned food where it almost certainly leaches into the food, contaminating it.

Despite intense industry lobbying, the European Union and Canada have banned BPA use in baby bottles.

Going back to bottled water: There are different types of plastic. The main offenders are polycarbonate plastic bottles. But it is very difficult to be sure which plastic bottles are made from polycarbonate (the majority are). So your best bet is to avoid plastic bottles altogether.

The other issue with bottles of “mineral water” (besides the fact that many are NOT actually mineral water) is the way they are produced.

Many plastic bottles are “blown” into shape at very high temperatures and then immediately filled with water before the plastic has cooled and the molecules have stabilised. This means BPA can be mixed with the water from the outset.

Even if that doesn’t happen, the water is often stored for several weeks or more in the bottle while it is transported – commonly in hot conditions – and then sits on a supermarket shelf. During all this time the chemicals will be leaching out and mixing “nicely” into the water, ready for you to drink into your body.


But don’t take our word for it. Here’s the conclusion of a major scientific study:

“Our results demonstrate a widespread contamination of mineral water with xenoestrogens that partly originates from compounds leaching from the plastic packaging material. These substances possess potent estrogenic activity in vivo in a molluskan sentinel. Overall, the results indicate that a broader range of foodstuff may be contaminated with endocrine disruptors when packed in plastics.”

Endocrine disruptors in bottled mineral water: total estrogenic burden and migration from plastic bottles



So what can you? Here are some simple steps you can take to immediately reduce your exposure to BPA and its harmful effects on your weight.

1) Do not drink plastic, bottled water.

2) Drink filtered water from a glass bottle. Tip: Keep it in the fridge for nice cool water.

A water filter will also save you a lot of money over buying bottled water. Click here to see our recommended water filter options and prices. Or you can find other suppliers on Google.


3) Only store food and drinks in glass containers.

Ideally Avoid ALL plastics when it comes to food and drink. Or at least greatly reduce them

Don’t Count Your Calories – Count Your Plastic


4) Eat fresh food. Avoid anything that’s in a packet. You will feel better almost immediately, have more energy, become slimmer and avoid nasty diseases.


5) If you really have to use plastics check the bottom of the bottle for the mark >PC< ie the mark for Polycarbonate. Also avoid #3, #6 and #7 plastics.

And why not contact your favourite supermarket. Ask them why you need to be a detective checking labels when they could simply sell you safer products


6) Never heat food in plastic containers in the microwave. The high temperature increases the release of the chemicals from the plastic into your food.

If you buy ready to eat meals take them out of their plastic packaging and put them onto a plate or bowl before microwaving. (Microwaving itself has a host of health concerns).


7) Listen to Granny: Eat lots of “cruciferous” vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bok choi etc. These contain phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that help your body fight against hormone disrupting chemicals.


8) Now for a surprise: A Lemon a Day keeps the Plastics at Bay: Lemon is very, very good for you. Especially the peel. This contains d-limonene which is a fantastic weapon against hormone disrupting chemicals and other impurities. Eat one whole organic lemon a day (the average-sized lemon has about 300 mg of d-limonene).

Juice it or make a tea with it (Prick the skin all over to release the zest. Then cut the lemon into quarters. Squeeze the juice into a mug. and pour first cold then boiling water (about 50/50). Or just have it cold. Besides the health benefits lemon also helps you lose your weight.



Generally avoid tinned food. Hopefully as a healthy person you already eat fresh foods and not tinned. But we probably all have some tinned tomatoes in the cupboard…

Almost every canned food manufacturer say they have“safe amounts of BPAs” in their can lining. (Hint: there is NO safe amount of BPA. Some scientists think that tiny amounts are even worse than large doses!).

Shockingly: Even major “organic” tinned food providers have BPAs in some of their tins.

The fact they boast about some of their tins being BPA free doesn’t mean that their other products are BPA free. It’s very sad that they seem to understand the BPA issue but still sell some cans that contain BPA.

In a similar vein, we called some of the top UK organic online retailers and none of them would confirm all their tins are BPA free. Nice.

Avoid using
non-stick cookware. Yes they cause cancer. Instead use old fashioned stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron pots and pans.  

Avoid plastic / styrofoam cups or containers of food and drink – especially if served hot.

Avoid clingfilm



Does this feel like a lot? Do you think it’s all a bit over the top?

Well to be honest we haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to concerns about the effect of all the plastics in our food chain. Here’s what a leading US doctor in the field says:


“BPA is now so pervasive it can be detected in the umbilical cord blood of 90% of all newborn infants. Once in the body, BPA mimics estrogen setting the stage for a wide variety of health-related problems that include—but are not limited to—early puberty, infertility, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease…

In fact dangerous plastics are found in everything now, from vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soap, shampoo, deodorants, fragrances, hair spray, nail polish, plastic bags, processed food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage bags, and intravenous medical tubing. …

In particular watch out for phthalates  They’re also one of the most pervasive of the endocrine disrupters. Studies have shown that exposure to phthalates can lead to incomplete testicular descent, reduced sperm counts, testicular atrophy, and/or structural abnormality and inflammation in newborns.” Richard Cohen, M.D


Further reading:

Endocrine Disruptors and the Obesity Epidemic



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