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5 Sep
2012
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Frying Pans Make Your Children Fat

Well not just frying pans. Any pan with a non-stick coating, according to recent research, has the power to impact the way your child’s body metabolises fat in later life. Now I have to say that the research has not yet established cause and effect beyond any doubt, but there is a significant correlation with the levels of PFCs (polyfluoroalkyl compounds) found in the blood of pregnant women and the weight of their children. PFCs get into pregnant women via non-stick pan coatings.

The study looked at medical information from around 450 women who were pregnant in the early 90’s. What they discovered was that the women with the highest levels of PFC in their blood had babies that, on average, weighed 5 ozs less at birth. However, by the age of 20 months these same babies weighed, on average, 1.3lbs heavier than the children of mothers with the lowest levels of PFC.

This confirms the results of a Danish study revealing that girls exposed to PFCs in the womb were much more likely to be overweight by the time they reached the end of their teens.

PFCs are endemic and most people already have them floating around in their bloodstream, though they are not as prevalent in the environment now as they were 20 years ago when those blood samples were taken.

Still, this research does make you wonder. There is a ‘fat’ epidemic, and while a lot of it is caused by eating much more food than is needed, this epidemic does match the rise in the use of non-stick cookware. I had a quick look around my local hardware store today and although there was an extensive selection of pans there was no shiny metal anywhere. Every single pan had a non-stick coating.

Non-stick pan coatings are a source of PFCs. Now I know from personal experience (largely because I use pans until the handles fall off) that non-stick coatings don’t stay on the pans.  I had a set of pans for around 30 years and they started off non-stick and ended up aluminium. What that means is that some particles of the non-stick coating must come off into the food every time the pan is used. The coating just got thinner and thinner. So I ate it and my family ate it.

Now I know the amounts are miniscule but these chemicals interfere with hormones and hormones operate at microscopic concentrations.

After realising that I’d probably eaten the pan coatings, my next set of pans were plain stainless steel. Interestingly I find that I don’t miss the non-stickness at all and rarely have a problem with sticking food. I remember reading somewhere that non-stick coatings were a by-product of the space programme and probably something we all ended up using because of clever marketing rather than any real need.

Now if it was just pans all it would mean was a little more work with the scourer, but PFCs are used to coat all sorts of things – many of which are food related. Our bodies, nowadays, ingest a huge amount of PFCs from the plastic containers and films that cover food – particularly those designed for microwave heating.

So it might just be time for another revolution – one that means a little more work. Using things like glass or ceramic containers to heat up food, rather than the packaging they come in. I know that’s too much effort, but if you consider the amount of energy you exert into going on diets and trying to lose weight, then using shiny metal pans and dispensing with packaging before microwaving is probably a lot less. Not only that but you get to do without all the guilt and suffering too.

Now if you want to lose a little more weight than non-stick pans will give you, and you’d like to make it really easy and not have to bother with all that dieting stuff,  then get hold of a copy of my book How to Lose Weight Easily and Free Yourself from Diets Forever.

Michael

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