Diet and Weight Loss News

Being overweight is not just the result of personal choices about what you eat

Written By Betty van der Mark on Sunday, September 20, 2009 | 1:45 AM

Prevalence of obesity in infants under 6 months had risen 73 percent since 1980. 'Since they're eating only formula or breast milk, and never exactly got a lot of exercise, the obvious explanations for obesity don't work for babies,' he points out. 'You have to look beyond the obvious.' The search for the non-obvious has led to a familiar villain: early-life exposure to traces of chemicals in the environment. Evidence has been steadily accumulating that certain hormone-mimicking pollutants, ubiquitous in the food chain, have two previously unsuspected effects.

They act on genes in the developing fetus and newborn to turn more precursor cells into fat cells, which stay with you for life. And they may alter metabolic rate, so that the body hoards calories rather than burning them, like a physiological Scrooge. 'The evidence now emerging says that being overweight is not just the result of personal choices about what you eat, combined with inactivity,' says Retha Newbold of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in North Carolina, part of the National Institutes of Health."

Read more on: Newsweek

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