Can "chemical calories" found in shampoos make you fat?
Making the news rounds today is a sensationalist headline about shampoo having "chemical calories" that can make you fat.
Over the past few years, researchers have found that chemicals called phthalates can act as endocrine disruptors that can mimic hormones and screw around with the hormone-producing glands.
Since hormones and glands are so intricately tied to weight, research institutions, including Mount Sinai in New York City, Stirling University in Scotland and many others, have since started researching the link between obesity and common chemicals you come in contact with every day. Phthalates and their pal, Bisphenol A (BPA, often found in plastic water bottles) are at the top of the study list.
So where does the jump to shampoo come from? Phthalates are commonly found in shampoo, hence, "shampoo makes you fat."
Freak out factor: Low
Don't go tossing your shampoo just yet.
Phthalates, BPA and loads of other chemicals are found in everything from toilet cleaner to perfume to canned food tins. The studies are focusing on peoples' cumulative toxic exposure, and shampoo is only a tiny piece of the puzzle. Furthermore, the link to obesity is preliminary at best.
Minimizing your toxin exposure is great for your health in general, and by all means, buy organic food whenever possible and trade out your harsh bathtub cleaner for a homemade vinegar mixture. You can even switch your shampoo for an all-natural version if you're concerned about toxin exposure.
But if you're watching your weight...sorry. Ditching your poos won't replace a trip to the gym.
What about you? Does this make you want to toss your phthalate-containing shampoo?