People of Northwest Public Radio
Obesity Linked to DDT
Thu October 24, 2013
Researchers Link DDT Exposure To Obesity Generations Later
DDT, the insecticide that was once widely used and is now banned in the United States, could be contributing to high obesity rates in the United States. That’s according to new research out of Washington State University.
Even if you haven’t been exposed to DDT in your lifetime, researchers say it could still have an effect on you and your weight. Washington State University researchers have been studying how DDT affects rats. They found that three generations after rats were exposed to the insecticide, more than half were considered obese. Michael Skinner conducted the study. He says DDT exposure may be turning off and on gene sequences. That leads to a higher likelihood of obesity.
“What your great-grandmother was exposed to when she was pregnant might actually influence your susceptibility to develop that disease" says Skinner.
Skinner says these findings correlate with the high rates of obesity now, about three generations after most Americans were exposed to the insecticide. DDT has been banned for more than 40 years.
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