WEST MICHIGAN -- The daughters of women who eat Lake Michigan fish laced with the toxic remnants of DDT are at greater risk of becoming obese, according to a new study.
Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that prenatal exposure to a derivative of DDT -- an insecticide commonly used until it was banned in the 1970s -- may play a role in the obesity epidemic in women.
Scientists studied the adult daughters of 250 West Michigan mothers who ate Lake Michigan fish to gauge their offsprings' exposure to DDE, a breakdown product of DDT.
The study, published in this month's edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that women with intermediate levels of DDE in their bodies gained an average of 13 pounds of excess weight. Women with higher levels of DDE gained more than 20 pounds of excess weight.
"What we have found for the first time is exposure to certain toxins by eating fish from polluted waters may contribute to the obesity epidemic in women," said Janet Osuch, a professor of surgery and epidemiology at MSU's College of Human Medicine and one of the lead authors of the study.
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Study Links DDT Residues, Obesity in Women
Study links DDT, obesity in women
By Jeff Alexander
Muskegon Chronicle - MI, March 20, 2009
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