Sicker, Fatter, Poorer
Leonardo Trasande, M.D., M.P.P.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2019)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (05/19)
Dr. Leonardo Trasande, M.D., M.P.P., is a Harvard educated pediatrician, professor, and research scientist. He has over twenty years of experience working with environmental health issues. “Sicker, Fatter, Poorer,” was written to educate readers about the dangers of endocrine disrupters (EDS) that are lurking in our environment. EDS are chemicals that affect how our hormones are supposed to function. They are commonly found in our food supply, the environment, and our homes. They are everywhere. In this book, the author focuses on four main categories of EDS which have research studies that strongly support their dangers. These categories include pesticides, flame retardants, plasticizer chemicals and bisphenols. Exposure to these chemicals has led to health disorders that can affect our immunological, metabolic, reproductive and nervous systems, such as creating issues causing lower IQs, ADHD, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These issues cause a huge impact on our economy. The lower IQ rates drastically effect individuals earning potential.
Trasande writes “Sicker, Fatter, Poorer,” in an engaging manner which allows for easier reading by individuals who do not have a background in science and government policy. In spite of the dire warnings regarding our current situation, the author gives us suggestions on how we can make changes in our lives to reduce EDS exposure. Not only will this benefit our health, but we can also use our purchasing power to send a message that we do not want continued exposure to these products. This gave me hope that it isn’t too late. Personally, I was interested in reading this book because I already have experienced health issues related to my reproductive and endocrine systems. Because my issues are not common in my family, I was curious to see if they could be related to EDS. I am now convinced that they could be.
“Sicker, Fatter, Poorer,” by Dr. Leonardo Trasande should be on everyone’s reading list. Parents especially need to have this information so that they can immediately make changes to reduce their children’s exposure to these chemicals and ensure a better future for them. The research presented is very convincing, however, if this is not enough to attract a reader’s attention, they should also consider that exposure to endocrine disrupters can cause erectile dysfunction, obesity, and affect our economy, which in turn hits our wallets. This all could be prevented. European countries are already taking a stand against EDS. It is time for the US to do so as well. Personally, I am going to start making changes today. I highly recommend reading “Sicker, Fatter, Poorer.”