A health and wellness influencer is copping major backlash after claiming something many of us use on a daily basis is the reason we’re gaining weight. Eleni Chechopoulos, an Instagram influencer and founder of Gut Rehab Blueprint, took to Instagram to tell her 11,000 followers their “battle with the scale” was because of their shampoo. But her controversial message has been met with disbelief from many experts, including Belinda MacDougall, CEO of Australia’s fastest-growing health food company, The Healthy Happy Co, who told news.com.au the comments were completely “ridiculous”.
“To say shampoo is the reason we are overweight is ridiculous and while chemicals in all beauty products can be bad for our health, weight gain is far more related to what we eat,” she said. If only shampoo was the answer, how easy that would be to fix this health crisis we face. Sadly, I think our weight gain has more to do with the cereals, takeaway, pizza, processed foods, wine, beer and soft drinks.”
It’s not just the experts slamming Ms. Chechopoulos claims, with many sharing the post online accusing it of being “fatphobic”.
- This is next level fatphobic. Encouraging women to think and worry about the number of calories in SHAMPOO and it’s effect on weight gain. Jesus wept. pic.twitter.com/VfZLoxEXDW
— Chloe Elliott (@ChloeInCurve) October 23, 2019
- This is so dangerous to promote! When my eating disorder was at its worst this would have badly triggered me and would of just given me another thing to obsess over. 😡
— 🖤 Courtney Melville 🖤 (@courtzmelv) October 23, 2019
- I knew it was my shampoo, shaving gel, moisturiser and body wash making me fat. Collectively known as shower gel.
— Stephen Morrison (@HowManyMiles_) October 23, 2019
- Oh my god, this is WILD! 🙈
— Jenifer Rosena (@JeniferRosena) October 23, 2019
this girl also calls herself a “gut & hormone nutritionist” despite having no credentials except some crunchy holistic fake news one lmfaoooo you have to laugh https://t.co/sANimdtWBs
— giulia (@jmashh_) October 24, 2019
In her lengthy post Ms. Chechopoulos levied her claims around studies on mice involving “obesogens” a chemical found in many cosmetic products that she said “disrupts” how your body creates and stores fat. “It’s found in shampoo, toothpaste, grocery store receipts, shower curtains, makeup, perfume, and so. much. more,” she wrote. “Even though you eat healthy and exercise every day, you still might battle the scale because of your SHAMPOO.”
Bruce Blumberg, Professor, Developmental & Cell Biology at the University of California previously wrote about these studies in a piece for The Conversation, concluding that “overeating calorie-rich foods and sedentary lifestyle” were the main cause of obesity. He did agree that obesogens may possibly play a role – as the mice exposed to these “fat stimulating chemicals” gained weight while those who weren’t remained the same, despite eating the same diets. However, he stated “there is little information available about effect in humans”.
Craig Jones, CEO of Australian natural skin care brand, MooGoo, told news.com.au he agreed that the situation was complicated. “On the face of it, the thought that using shampoo makes people fat is up there with claims that eating bread crusts makes your hair curly and puts hair on your chest,” he said. The backlash on Ms. Chechopoulos’ remarks has been so great, she’s recently made her Instagram account private. But before she did, she responded to the heat. “As usual when I speak about certain topics lots of hate floods in and demand for citations and studies,” she said. I don’t disagree with wanting studies, but it is not my job to serve everything on a silver platter. I suspect many don’t want studies – they want to bully and stir the pot.”
What is your take about this “ridiculous” claim?