Pesticides and children's obesity

“Exposure to pesticides in utero can double a child’s chances of becoming obese, a new Spanish study has concluded. The study, published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, measured the level of the internationally banned (yet still freakishly persistent) pesticide hexachlorobenzene in the umbilical cords of over 400 children born on the Spanish island of Menorca. It found that the kids with the highest levels of HCB before birth were twice as likely to be obese at age six and a half. Previous studies have linked bisphenol A exposure to obesity in animals, and other studies have linked phthalates to obesity in adult men; the Spanish study honed in on the effects of HCB in young and unborn humans. “This is very important. It is the first good study of the effects on the fetus,” said Pete Myers, a scientist at Environmental Health Sciences in the U.S. “Its conclusions are not surprising, given what we know from the animal experiments, but it firmly links such chemicals to the biggest challenge facing public health today.”
sources: Grist: The parallels between accepting obesity and ignoring global warming
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