Obesity in America and the Hormone Treated Cows

Obesity became a real widespread phenomenon in the United States.  This phenomenon has become visible in the last 20 years and can be noticed more often in women than men living outside of big cities.  After a trip to several countries in Europe my first impression there was about the physical appearance of their population. They were in general skinnier than Americans but their eating habits were not much different. They also worked fewer hours than their American counterparts and had longer vacations.  What is the cause of this phenomenon of obesity? Was this change caused by changes in eating habits of the population?  Is the US population becoming more sedentary?

There may be some minor changes due the increased availability of food supply but it cannot be the cause of this drastic change in the population’s weight. Americans are not eating much more nor are they less active than ever before.  More women go to work now than ever before, more people exercise and try to keep fit than in the past.  Gym membership has skyrocketed and people are more aware of the need for keeping fit and the benefits of good nutrition. However, the general population still grows obese.  Why?

In 2005, about 33 million cattle were slaughtered to provide beef for US consumers and about 80% of the cattle raised for slaughter are injected with hormones to make them grow faster. According to the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health, the use of natural and artificial growth hormones in beef production poses a potential risk to human health.  Currently, there is no research or study made to clarify if the long-term consumption of hormone residues in meat can disrupt human hormone balance, which in turn can cause developmental problems, or even cancer.  The European Union’s Committee reported that as of 1999, no comprehensive studies had been conducted to determine whether hormone residues in meat can be cancer-causing.  Hormone residues in beef have been implicated in the early onset of puberty in girls, which could put them at greater risk of developing breast and other forms of cancer.  In cattle, these hormones are intended to boost growth rates and increase body mass. This hormone-treated meat can cause the same effect on humans consuming this meat.

Got Milk?

From a recent “got milk” advertisement: “Some studies suggest milk can play an important role in achieving healthy weight”.  Which studies are these? I never knew that the fat and calories milk contains could help you lose weight.  America’s dairy cows are given a genetically-engineered artificial growth hormone called rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) to increase milk production. These measures mean much higher milk production and increased profits for the beef and dairy industries. FDA approval for rBGH came in 1993, in spite of strong opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers.  The FDA relied solely on a study done by Monsanto in which rBGH was tested for 90 days on 30 rats. The study was never published, and the FDA stated the results showed no significant problems. But a review by the Canadian health agency on rBGH found that the 90-day study showed a significant number of issues, which should have triggered a full review by the FDA.  The FDA approved rBGH based on a study done on rats and never followed up on the long-term effects on humans. 

When I eat meat, and drink milk, I think twice about the long-term effects of the added hormones in these food items.  I personally see the visible effects all around me, in the form of obese and overweight people.  

Written by: Albert Talker


Submitted to Web Site by: Albert Talker