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Don’t be so quick to blame genetics or poor eating habits when people get fat during the holiday season, or anytime, for that matter. Emerging research shows that environmental chemicals may deserve a good deal of the blame when people get fat as well as obesity related disorders such as type 2 diabetes. A number of chemicals are suspect, including fire retardants, plasticizers and arsenic. What are the mechanisms? One intriguing pathway to excess fat may involve the interaction between chemicals and microbes that are important to food digestion. 

“Do Interactions Between Gut Ecology and Environmental Chemicals Contribute to Obesity and Diabetes?” That’s the title of a recent article on this subject by Suzanne Snedeker and Anthony Hay in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), which can be found here.
A less technical discussion by Allison Tracy of the Environmental Defense Fund can be found in the following blog. – more-1646

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