There may be a new, simple way to keep unwanted weight off that doesn't involve diet or exercising. According to a new study, if a person removes their shoes as soon as they get home, it can help prevent weight gain.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Universities of Aveiro and Beira Interior in Portugal, suggests that environmental chemicals that are carried into a person's home from their shoes can alter a person's hormones. These chemicals, also known as obesogens, can be found in everyday items in a person's home and can affect a person's hormone levels, which can lead to fat levels building up in tissues.

The researchers claim that by removing shoes and even getting rid of a rug will help prevent these chemicals from being in a person's home.


Obesogens are endocrine disrupting chemicals that have been linked to a plethora of diseases. While obesogens don't directly cause a person to gain weight, they can increase the sensitivity in a person that would attribute to weight gain, particularly when a person is exposed to chemicals.

Obesogens can change how a person develops fat cells in their body and can make it more difficult for a person to maintain a healthy weight by changing how the body regulates feeling full or if they are hungry. Some examples of what obesogens are include air pollution, some pesticides, and cigarettes. 

What's The Solution? 

The researchers discovered that majority of the places the chemicals were found in included kitchenware, plastics, house dust, cosmetics, and cleaning chemicals. The researchers continued by offering various ways to prevent these chemicals from being in the home. 

In addition to removing shoes to stop bringing in the obesogens from outdoors into the home, scientists suggest people buy organic, fresh foods versus processed foods and regular vacuuming can help prevent chemicals from getting inside the house. 

"These are baby steps to achieve an obesogen-free lifestyle but a really good start. Essentially, watch your diet and get rid of the dust at home," lead author Dr. Ana Catarina Sousa stated

However, British experts who have read this study state that more research is needed before lifestyle changes could be made.

Toxicologist and Managing Director at the Consultancy for Environmental & Human Toxicology and Risk Assessment France and UK, Dr. Peter Jenkinson, stated that the advice given was "sensible" but there wasn't enough evidence to prove that it will help prevent obesity.

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