Study: Pesticides In Fruits And Vegetables Can Lead To Obesity, Malnourishment

According to a recent study, pesticides in fruits and vegetables can cause obesity or malnourishment. Read on to know more.  

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Aug 31, 2021Updated at: Aug 31, 2021
Study: Pesticides In Fruits And Vegetables Can Lead To Obesity, Malnourishment

Are pesticides used in vegetables are fruits harmful for your health? According to a recent study, yes. After conducting a study, the researchers of McMaster University got to know that commonly used pesticide can affect obesity rates in the world. The results of this study were published in the journal 'Nature Communications'. Their reaserch showed that chlorpyrifos, which is a pesticide banned in Canada, used to clean fruits and vegetables can restrict the body from burning calories, causing weight gain. This study was done on mice to know as to how pesticides can affect metabolism, weight gain, and obesity. The scientists came to this conclusion after studying 34 commonly used pesticides and herbicides in brown fat cells and testing the impact of chlorpyrifos in mice that were fed high-calorie diets.

Senior author Gregory Steinberg, professor of medicine and co-director of the Centre for Metabolism, Obesity, and Diabetes Research at McMaster said, "Lifestyle changes around diet and exercise rarely lead to sustained weight loss." He also said that, “We think part of the problem may be this intrinsic dialing back of the metabolic furnace by chlorpyrifos.” 


Image source: TOI

The researchers found out that chlorpyrifos can affect the normal function of brown fat cells. Instead of burning calories, exposure to the pesticide can make mice more likely to store extra calories, which can directly lead to weight gain and obesity. As per the data, obesity is the root cause of 4.7 million premature deaths every year. This health problem is also a huge risk factor for many leading causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and many types of cancer.

Also read: Harmful Effects of Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables

Researcher Steinberg said, "Brown fat is the metabolic furnace in our body, burning calories, unlike normal fat that is used to store them." He further added, “This generates heat and prevents calories from being deposited on our bodies as normal white fat. We know brown fat is activated during cold and when we eat." Although, the study was conducted on mice, the researchers say that these results are also possible in human metabolisms. The researchers explained that a weight gain of five pounds every year can significantly  increase the risk of obesity.

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