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The Danger In Eating Chicken Raised On Hormones

Updated on December 5, 2011

Over the last 30 years there has been a gradual increase in chicken consumption in America. Perceived health benefits, low price, good taste, health concerns regarding red meat are some of the reasons for the increasing popularity of chicken. Over this same period of time the occurrence of obesity has skyrocketed. Recent research suggests excessive chicken consumption may be a major contributor to the obesity epidemic that is taking place in America today.

In the 1870's the quality of chicken began to decrease. At that time it was found to be a healthy, lean meat rich in protein. A study conducted at the London Metropolitan University, UK, was recently published in Public Health Nutrition. In the study it was concluded that "modern organic and broiler chickens sold for human consumption provide more energy from fat than from protein." This is a significant discovery since published nutritional guidelines list chicken as a source of "lean protein." According to the study, between 1870 and 2004, fat content increased from 36 Kcal/100g to 207 Kcal/100g. During this same time period, chicken protein decrease from 84Kcal/100g to 64Kcal/100g. The study concluded that chicken can no longer be considered a low fat meat.

There are several reasons why chickens are obese today:

1) confinement to enclosures preventing exercise

2) consumption of a high calorie diet

3) Growth promoters and antibiotics (antibiotics are used to prevent infection but there is much evidence that they result in fat gain in both chickens and humans.

Not only are chickens unhealthy and fat, the are nutrient deficient and imbalanced. Chicken was once considered a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Today, the ratio between omega 6 and 3 found in chickens is 9:1. The western diet is saturated with omega 6 fatty acids which has caused a health threatening imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3 in humans. Consuming chicken today only adds to this imbalance.

According to Chinese medicine, chicken has a harmful biological and physical impact on the liver. Overeating chicken may slow down or block liver function. The liver is the body's number one fat burner, which would explain why individuals who eat a lot of chicken gain weight and can not lose it. Eating chicken which has been raised with growth hormones causes an imbalance in the hormonal system. A hormonal imbalanced may lead to excessive weight gain, reproductive difficulties, heightened PMS symptoms and irregular periods.

If you are chicken lover you may want to consider switching to organic chicken and eating it less often. If you are serious about losing weight and/or becoming more healthy, restricting or eliminating chicken intake will make your efforts much easier.


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    • Team Wiseman profile image

      Team Wiseman 3 years ago

      What an article, Truth is certainly exposed here. Not even organic is organic anymore, the world is full of danger so why do we now want our foods against us? What a mess!

      Great job at exposing this Truth, we too are Truth Writers and know Truth when we see it. Thank you for gathering all this vital info and presenting it in an easy to understand manner. As a small token of our appreciation we have Thumbed Up, useful and interesting. Also sharing via FB, Twitter, g+, and Pinterest. We are now also following you!

      Thank you for this very shocking and informative article.

    • profile image

      Akinwemoye Akinbobola 3 years ago

      Wooow!!! You wouldn't believe that as an animal scientist, I haven't come across this kind of info about growth hormone harm on human being. I will have to carry out further research on this ,and publish my findings on my website

    • profile image

      carmadoro 4 years ago


    • profile image

      John 6 years ago

      That's interesting because I can't seem to gain weight eating over 3000 calories a day. I'm 25, male, and 140 pounds. Half of my calories come from baked chicken breasts, and my doctor said she's never seen "such beautiful bloodwork".

    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great information here. I now will think of chicken in a much different way and search for the organic type. Thanks for an awesome hub.

    • Jenna Estefan profile image

      Jenna Estefan 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Wow, who would have thought? We're always told to choose chicken as the "healthier" meat. I agree with Becky, buy free range. It's so sad how chicken (and other animals) are treated at large, commercial farms. The animals just can't be healthy living in those types of environments (no room to move, no or little light exposure). I'd imagine that if the animals aren't healthy while they're living, they're probably not as healthy to eat as they could be.

      Thanks for the insight.

    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I think chicken is just fine to eat as long as they are free range and not commercially raised. Where would we be without the healing powers of chicken soup? :) The commercial chicken farms are where the changes need to be made. I say grow your own.....everything and take control of what you eat.

    • tchenruiz profile image

      tchenruiz 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      When I went back to Taiwan, my relatives invited me to a restaurant where they served a chicken dish that's "out of this world". I asked, is it free range? My mother laughed out loud saying, "only Americans will eat caged chicken." There you have it.

    • ejazahmed2609 profile image

      ejazahmed2609 6 years ago from Abu Dahbi, UAE

      A very informative and reality based hub. No doubt Chickens meet has become more popular because of its lower nutrition level and affordability but on the other hand it has produced a numbers of obese people. I'm agree with your points. thanks for sharing.

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station

      Excellent article--I voted it up.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      There are two kinds of chicken in my country: boosted breeding which get treatment like you tell us in this hub, and chicken raised in traditional way and my preference is the later one.

    • feenix profile image

      feenix 6 years ago

      stevemark122000, very informative hub -- very informative. I had no idea that there are so many unheathy things about chicken meat. Fortunate for me, however, I do not ever eat chicken because for some reason or the other, I have never liked it.

    • MosLadder profile image

      Chris Montgomery 6 years ago from Irvine, CA

      So that's why those roast chickens from Costco taste so good! This was a great insight, thanks for the hub!

    • SD Dickens profile image

      SD Dickens 6 years ago

      I eat quite a bit of chicken so this is disturbing. But with so many to feed in my household I'm not sure I can spend the money on free range chicken. It seems there are no safe foods anymore.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Great hub, Just decided to get some chickens for fresh eggs. I am not much of a meat eater anymore..was raw vegan for two years now eat some cooked veggies and organic eggs. I read where meat can make your body more acidic thus causing it to be out of you know much about that? Thanks for a great hub.


    • lilian1 profile image

      lilian1 6 years ago from Hertfordshire England

      Thanks for all this important information I agree I try to eat only organic chicken it costs more but is much healthier I hate the fact they give chickens all these growth hormones bad for the chickens bad for us too...

    • lcbenefield profile image

      lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia

      Eye opening hub. I am very surprised that chicken is not good for us. Just add that to the long list of things that are harmful for us to eat. I'm like most in thinking I was doing something good for me in eating chicken. I will definitely have to reconsider.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I do not eat chicken or any other fowl, red meat or pork, but mainly enjoy a diet of whole grains, legumes, soy, organic fruits and veggies (to the extent I can get them here--Mississippi supermarkets are still in the Dark Ages, and it's difficult to even find organic vegs and fruits at the large local Farmers' Market. I've had farmers there tell me they "have to" use pesticides in order to have a crop. Very few farmers of vegs and fruits in this area bother to learn about organic methods, but there are a few who do.)

      However, I worry about people who think chicken is a healthy food and, thinking this erroneously, eat it frequently. I've offered to lend the book EATING ANIMALS by Jonathan Foer to friends who say, "No thanks," because they quite frankly don't want to learn anything that might upset their views. In other words, they prefer to remain ignorant of very important information about the food they put into their bodies and feed their children. What can one person do when people react that way? It's extremely frustrating!

      Thanks for writing this hub, and I hope it has many, many readers who take it to heart.


    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      I didn't know this. Thanks for this hub!

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 6 years ago

      yes I read about this last year and switched to no biotic and natural raised chickens. i only hope the labeling is true1 ;-0

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 6 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comments everyone!

      We live in a society where long-term good health doesn't come naturally. The only way to achieve it is to work hard at it.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for the information. I guess it is time to eat organic, free range chicken. I always thought chicken was healthy for me.

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      This certainly isn't getting any publicity. It is stil touted as being high in protien and low in fat. I guess that health takes a back seat to improving profitability. The faster they can get chickens to market the faster they can cash in. It doesn't surprise me in the least that food for the masses is altered to maximize the bottom line.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      LOL. and someone I know always wanted to try some deep south Fried Chicken. I'll stick with soy/veggie burgers and eat less bird.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      It's too bad that a food that has been said to be so good for those trying to eat healthy and lose weight is now being said to no longer be so good for you.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      The answer is free range chicken they produce the best eggs and the best meat. I Live in Thailand and the chicken here is the way it used to be a 100 years ago in the U.S. they don't have many chicken factory frams in Asia just locals growing their own. I get the food off the street from the country folks who grow their own. I love chicken. Thanks for reminding me. Peter

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

      I didn't know that chicken can be harmful to the liver! Well, with the growth hormone injected into the chicken body, it's definitely no good. Thanks for the info.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh no I am having chicken breasts tonight. Wow interesting hub.