Exposure to pesticides may make the daughters of women who lived near or, worked in, agricultural areas, unable to breast feed their children. Mexican and other Latina immigrants are the most vulnerable to this. These people, being mostly of Indian origins, also have the diabetes gene, making it easy for them to gain weight and hard for them to lose it. Why does this matter? Because bottle feeding sets up babies of both sexes for metabolic syndrome, which leads to Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and high levels of “bad” cholesterol. It can also lead to prostate cancer in boys.

In research done by anthropologist Elizabeth Guillette at the University of Florida, the connection was found in girls of Mayan descent whose mothers were exposed to pesticide spraying. The research was conducted in Mexico, but many of these pesticides, although they go by different names, have the same ingredients and are used in the United States, potentially giving farm workers here in the US the same risks. You heard it here first: fat isn’t just a cosmetic or health issue, it’s a political hot potato that our government does NOT want to deal with.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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