You ate too much and exercised too little.
In a nutshell, it’s ALL your fault.
But is it ?
The vast majority of individuals with weight issues, exhibit some degree of insulin resistance.
It is this INSULIN RESISTANCE, that drives metabolic syndrome, which pre-empts the vast majority of health problems associated with obesity.
There are exceptions on both sides, skinny people can be insulin resistant and fat people, can be insulin sensitive. But the strong association between obesity and insulin resistance, and the fact that losing weight, restores insulin sensitivity points to
OBESITY leads to INSULIN RESISTANCE.
Yes, but….. so does a STRESSFUL NIGHT.
The stress effect
There is no debating it, STRESS is not good for you.
But what we often forget, is stress is not an emotion, it is a physiological response to an awkward situation, which is creating a “CRISIS” for your body.
Air pollution and insulin resistance
It is not a new idea – many epidemiological studies have connected the dots. Breathing in noxious car exhaust fumes on a continual basis, ups the odds of you suffering a heart attack.
But association does not prove causation.
The problem, epidemiological studies end up looking at a moment in time, and then extrapolate backwards – travelling back in time, has lots of limitations. The biggest problem – we don’t remember ! Quick tell me what you have for dinner last Tuesday night.
So a group of German researchers set about designing an experiment, where they looked forward.
The German team checked out the insulin sensitivity of 397 very special 10 year olds. The reason these kids were special, is that when they were born, everything about them was recorded with the view to monitor their life progress. This type of study is known as a cohort study.
One of the things recorded was where they lived. This detail, allowed the research team to quantify just how much air pollution they were exposed to early on, along with other things, such as their birth weight, socioeconomic status and smoking habits of the household.
When kids breathe dirty air
The study found, kids breathing dirty air, showed higher levels of insulin resistance.
Now to clarify, these increased levels were not enough to impact on their health – the difference is small, but the pattern is consistent, suggesting air pollution is contributing to insulin resistance in kids. The increase was seen irrespective of their current BMI, so this phenomenon has nothing to do with obesity.
In fact, the researchers were able to show that the level of insulin resistance tracked with distance from a major road. Living within a 500 m radius of a major road, decreased insulin sensitivity.
Time to move ?
When adults breathe dirty air
Kids by their very nature, are more sensitive to environmental pollutants, so extrapolating to adults may not be fair.
But, this study further supports the idea that insulin resistance is not just about how much food you eat. Insulin resistance is a whole lot more complicated.
Become a bunny hugger
Being environmentally conscious might not only be good for “bunnies”, it could be criticalyou’re your long term health.
Strive to decrease your exposure to air pollutants, one way to do this, is to plant a tree, if you’re genetically gifted, skip the deoderant, and do what you can to minimize your contribution to air pollution, by greening your world.
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