Beyond Calories and Exercise: The Influence of Gut Health and Environmental Chemicals on Obesity and Diabetes

The incidence of diabetes and obesity is a global health crisis.  In the Unites States (U.S.) alone, 11.3% (25.6 million) of all people over the age of twenty have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes.  Another 35% are estimated to have pre-diabetes and it is recognized that 11% of these will develop type 2 diabetes each year during the next three years.  The total direct medical costs and indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature death) associated with diabetes in the U.S. during 2007 was $174 billion.  Globally, the prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980 and it is acknowledged that overweight and obesity contribute to the development of 70% of type 2 diabetes cases.  Sadly, the incidence of obesity among U.S. children and adolescents 2-19 years old has tripled in the same time frame with 16.9% (12.5 million) obese adolescents, providing a grim outlook for future incidence of diabetes.

Clearly, excessive calories and a lack of exercise are recognized risk factors for obesity and type 2 diabetes and yet many experts have a growing interest in exploring additional contributing factors outside of these conventional two.  In fact, a search of the literature uncovered a wide range of very recent journal articles reviewing knowledge from the last four decades and highlighting new, groundbreaking research in the field of gut health, environmental chemicals, obesity and diabetes.  Research has clearly demonstrated that gut heath is uniquely individual, likely contributing to obesity and type 2 diabetes and that environmental chemicals stimulate obesity and diabetes.  Cutting edge research is considering the intersection of gut health and environmental chemicals as they impact obesity and diabetes.

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Beyond Calories and Exercise – The Influence of Gut Health and Environmental Chemicals on Obesity and Diabetes


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