Hormone- and metabolism-ravaging chemicals, like brominated flame retardants, may be contributing to the obesity epidemic. A new study out of Japan, the first of its kind, links the flame retardant hexabromocyclodecane (HBCD) to accelerated weight gain. Flame retardant chemicals are often used in building materials and insulation and have been proven to disrupt hormones, metabolism and immune system function. This study shows how these industrial chemicals accumulate in the tissues of animals and humans, accelerating weight gain, affecting blood sugar levels and leading to other metabolic disorders like diabetes. In fact, this study shows how a high-fat diet laced with brominated flame retardant chemicals increases weight gain by 30 percent.