Green Buckeye RN

Newsweek: Born To Be Big
September 16, 2009, 10:10 am
Filed under: News

Early exposure to common chemicals may be programming kids to be fat.

By Sharon Begley | NEWSWEEK
Published Sep 11, 2009
It’s easy enough to find culprits in the nation’s epidemic of obesity, starting with tubs of buttered popcorn at the multiplex and McDonald’s 1,220-calorie deluxe breakfasts, and moving on to the couch potatofication of America. Potent as they are, however, these causes cannot explain the ballooning of one particular segment of the population, a segment that doesn’t go to movies, can’t chew, and was never that much into exercise: babies. In 2006 scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that the prevalence of obesity in infants under 6 months had risen 73 percent since 1980. “This epidemic of obese 6-month-olds,” as endocrinologist Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco, calls it, poses a problem for conventional explanations of the fattening of America. “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.”

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