Air Pollution May Lead To Weight Gain, Obesity In Women

Air Pollution May Lead To Weight Gain, Obesity In Women By John Anderer for Natural Blaze

GNN Note – It has nothing to do with the french fries, ice cream and other poisonous “food” we stuff into our face. / END

Make no mistake, obesity is a global problem. On a worldwide scale, obesity rates have tripled since 1975. Expanding waistlines are especially prevalent in the United States, with more than four in 10 adults meeting the criteria for obesity. While there are a number of factors behind this troubling trend, a new study finds air pollution may be yet another element tipping the scale toward obesity — at least for certain women.

Scientists at the University of Michigan report middle-aged women exposed to smog may be more likely to experience weight gain and develop a higher body mass index, a larger waist circumference, and more body fat. A group of older, middle-aged women who experienced long-term exposure to air pollution tended to gain more weight, study authors say.

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“Women in their late 40s and early 50s exposed long-term to air pollution — specifically, higher levels of fine particles, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone — saw increases in their body size and composition measures,” reports first study author Xin Wang, an epidemiology research investigator at the U-M School of Public Health, in a university release.

These findings are based on a dataset of 1,654 Caucasian, Black, Chinese, and Japanese women who had participated in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Researchers tracked all of those participants, whose baseline median age was close to 50, between 2000 and 2008.

Meanwhile, study authors determined annual exposure to air pollution by linking residential addresses with hybrid estimates of air pollutant concentrations. Then, the research team analyzed any and all associations between local air pollution levels and each participants’ body size and composition measures. One question in particular they wanted to clarify: Does exercise influence these associations?

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