Menu

In the News

The Guardian Cites PHI Research on Chemicals and the Link to Obesity

In a podcast interview, Madeleine Finlay with The Guardian: Science Weekly, speaks with Damian Carrington, environment editor, to discuss major scientific evidence, including PHI’s research on the intergenerational health effects of DDT, to draw a link between the exposure to chemicals and the global obesity pandemic.    

scientist looking at test tube of chemicals in lab

Are synthetic chemicals we encounter every day causing us to gain weight? Termed ‘obesogens,’ these chemicals can be found in food packaging, personal hygiene products, electronics and even water.  In this Guardian podcast, Madeleine Finlay speaks to environment editor Damian Carrington about how obesogens might be contributing to the global obesity pandemic, what they may be doing to our bodies, and if there’s anything we can do to avoid them.  They discuss critical research from PHI’s Child Health and Development Studies.


Across Europe, two-thirds of adults and a third of children are overweight or obese. But this isn’t just an issue for the world’s wealthier countries anymore. Obesity is a problem pretty much everywhere. The obesity epidemic costs the world $2 trillion a year.

It’s causing a global health crisis as increasing numbers of us end up with related illnesses like cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. We’ve spent decades trying to eat less and exercise more; and it’s not helping. Obesity just isn’t as simple as calories in versus calories out. So what is going on and then how do we start to fix it?  Well one theory is that chemical pollution may be partly to blame. Recently, dozens of researchers pulled together the evidence into three major scientific reviews, arguing that synthetic chemicals found almost everywhere are changing our bodies and making us gain weight.

Listen in to the full podcast by The Guardian: Science Weekly below.  Read more about the DDT study from PHI.

There was another thing in the reviews which really struck me and was just like really frightening and that was that you could get intergenerational effects. So for example, there was a study last year where they looked at the exposure of women to DDT and pesticide use that's now banned and then they tracked that through to these women's granddaughters and found that the higher dose that their grandmother had been exposed to, the more likely the granddaughter was to be obese or overweight... Damian Carrington

Originally published by The Guardian: Science Weekly


More Updates

Work With Us

You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.

Bring Your Work to PHI

Support Us

Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.

Donate

Find Employment

Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.

See Jobs

TTH volunteers, United Against COVID

Close

Achieving Vaccine Equity: Resources & Best Practices to Bring Down Barriers

To stop the spread of COVID-19, we must ensure easy, equitable access to vaccines—starting with communities that are made most vulnerable due to systemic inequities. Find tools, resources and best practices to support vaccine equity in your community.

See resources, tools, videos & more

Continue to PHI.org