Fitness & Excercise

How Air Pollution Can Contribute to Obesity

It’s bad for your lungs, your skin, and your longevity. Now, it turns out, air pollution is also crap for your physique. A new study from the University of Colorado, Boulder, finds that people who live in areas of heavy ozone air pollution are more likely to develop a poor gut bacteria (aka “microbiome”) mix—one that’s associated with a high risk of obesity.

The study followed over 100 young adults in a polluted area of Southern California, who provided fecal samples (yes, what it sounds like) along with their zip codes so that researchers could determine the makeup of their gut bacteria and compare it to data on air pollution in their neighborhoods over the past year. The results: Overweight people with greatest exposure to ozone pollution also had the lowest diversity in gut bacteria.

“This is important since lower diversity has been linked with obesity and Type 2 diabetes,” according to study author Tanya Alderete, Ph.D.

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