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March 16, 2011

"Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signalling to be let out." Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave

In Today's Chat:

* Hidden Chemicals that Make People Fat

* How to Get Out of Debt. Plus, Achieving Financial Freedom.

* Final Words for Today's Chat: Interesting Questions

Hidden Chemicals that Make People Fat

Chronic sleep deprivation is a factor in weight gain and obesity in adults and teens.

Research has also shown that being overweight and obese are major risk factors for sleep apnea.

In addition, being overweight contributes to snoring.

Over two-thirds of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. And obesity rates worldwide are increasing dramatically.

You might be inclined to think this weight gain is due simply to too many calories taken in and not enough exercise. For the most part, that's true. But I wanted to alert you to a different threat that may also be causing this weight gain—obesogens (pronounced oh-bee-sa-jins, emphasis on the bee).

Obesogens are chemicals that disrupt and interfere with our body's hormonal system and alter fat metabolism. That's why obesogens are also known as endocrine disruptors. These chemicals lead to weight gain because they increase the numbers of fat cells, increase fat deposits, and they disrupt the feeling of fullness, which can lead to more eating.

Obesogens are in our food, in our water, and in a wide variety of plastics. (It's strange to consider that plastics in our environment may be a factor in causing sleep apnea or snoring due to weight gain.)

The biggest chemical culprit in plastics may be bisphenol-A (BPA). Unfortunately, BPA is difficult to avoid entirely. And one study found that 93% of Americans ages six and older had traces of BPA in their bodies.

Some research implies that pregnant women exposed to BPA may increase the likelihood that their children will be fatter as an adult. BPA has also been linked to an increased risk of various cancers, including breast and prostate cancers.

Here's a partial list of where BPA is found: Water bottles, baby bottles, plastic cups, plastic toys, the lining of food cans, plastic food wrap, PVC pipes for water supply, and a variety of plastic food storage containers.

Some countries are phasing out the use of BPA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also concerned about BPA and is looking into alternatives that can be used for food containers.

In the meantime, here's what you can do today to reduce your exposure to bisphenol-A.

1. Do not put any plastics in the microwave or in the dishwasher. Heat makes the chemicals leach out of the plastic. Even if the plastic says microwave safe, chemicals still move out of the plastic and into our food.

2. The worst plastic containers have the recycling numbers 3 or 7 on the bottom of the container. Plastics with the recycling code numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are much safer to use.

3. Use glass or stainless steel for your food and drink containers. One thing I have been doing to avoid plastics is storing food in glass containers. For example, I'll buy spaghetti sauce in a jar and then instead of recycling the jar, I keep it and store nuts, beans, sauces, and leftovers in the container. Works great.

4. Beware of eating too many canned foods. Most canned food and canned beverages are lined with BPA-containing resins. Acidic foods, such as spaghetti sauce, are especially bad to buy in cans. Buy bottles instead. Fortunately, some food companies have begun to use BPA-free linings in their cans.

5. Throw away cracked plastic food containers because chemicals are being released.

6. Avoid using teflon pans.

7. Put a filter on your faucet at home.

Since plastics are everywhere, the best piece of advice is to look for alternatives to any plastics you use. Do your best and don't sweat the rest.


1. Mol Endocrinol. 2009 August; 23(8):1127–1134. Minireview: The Case for Obesogens

2. Mol Cell Endocrinol, 2009 May 25;304(1-2):19-29. Endocrine disrupters as obesogens.

3. BPA researcher Patricia Hunt, PhD, in Bottom Line Personal, December 1, 2010

How to Get Out of Debt

As the National Sleep Foundation has so rightly pointed out, millions of people are losing sleep over money issues.

Therefore, it is part of my job as a sleep writer to provide to you helpful money information that I happen to come across.

So if debt or lack of savings is keeping you up at night, here's some help. I was recently given a free book by financial writer David Bach. It's called Debt Free for Life.

The book covers: understanding credit reports; mortgage debt and how to pay off your mortgage faster; student debt; how to pay off credit card debt for good; how to change your thinking about money; and much much more.

There's a quote from Walt Disney at the back of the book that sort of sums up how to get out of debt. And for that matter, it's a quote that also sums up how to lose weight, how to be financially successful in life, or how to get what you want out of life. It says:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

If you're losing sleep over debt, this book might be just what you need to begin getting out of debt.

Here's another great way to get out of debt...

Start a fun little business you can do from home.

I've written an article about this and it will really open your eyes about what's possible financially.

Click here to read Best Business to Start for Funding Your Retirement Years and Financial Freedom.

Final Words for Today's Chat

An excellent way to learn more about who you are, what you believe, and what you want out of life, is to ask yourself questions.

So I would like to leave you with a few thought provoking questions today. These come from The Book Of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Here are the questions.

Is there something you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?

And here are two follow up questions to consider to the above questions.

Is it better to have dreams that will never come to pass, or to have no dreams at all? How much better would your life be if the things you dream of doing or having were granted to you?

Let these questions simmer in your mind. As the great philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti said, "Think on these things."

See where these questions take you.

In the meantime, I'm outta' here. Life is a journey. Keep exploring.

We'll chat soon.


If you like this ezine issue, please forward it to any friends, family, or associates you think would enjoy its contents. I appreciate it and so will they.
Rich Silver
Sleep & Health Writer
P.O. Box 95
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Sleep Passport