|Diesel Exhaust Now Blamed for Obesity Epidemic|
|Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:13|
Forget lazing around watching TV like a couch potato. Forget chowing down every day at your favorite greasy spoon. It turns out exposure to diesel fumes by pregnant mothers (in utero) may be the trigger that is responsible for adult obesity. Bottom line: it’s not your fault.
A recently published study in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) found that offspring of pregnant mice exposed to diesel exhaust as opposed to filtered air were heavier as adults and the males got a double-whammy – they also had signs of insulin resistance.
A public press release quotes a researcher involved in the study, Jessica L. Bolton, Ph.D., Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University saying, "It is becoming clearer that our environment profoundly affects our health in ways that are little understood." And in a missive that we’ve all become familiar with, she further stated, "We believe these data have important implications for health disparities as a consequence of socioeconomic conditions, in which low income neighborhoods tend to be disproportionately exposed to high levels of pollution, which we hope will inform policy and regulation decisions."
"If you're pregnant and have a long drive into work, you might think twice about opening the car windows," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal.
Before deciding to give up on your diet and exercise regimen because your mom breathed in some diesel exhaust, there are some questions that need to be asked (and answered) about this study’s methodology to determine if it really was objective science. Who funded it? Were the diesel fumes used representative of exhaust gases produced from today’s cleaner burning trucks and fuels? Neither was disclosed in the press announcement.
The second question is most important because recently touted studies on the negative health effects associated with diesel emissions were completely biased in that they relied on exposure to diesel exhaust produced from engines and fuel that have not been available for a decade in this country.