'Toxic' diet and obesity18th August 2006
According to a new study by scientists in California children in the west are principally becoming obese because their diets alter the balance of their hormones.
Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults, putting people at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. A quarter of girls and more than a fifth of boys in the UK are classified as overweight or obese.
Dr Lustig, a paediatrician at the Children's Hospital of the University of California, says
in the latest issue of Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology and Metabolism that the obesity epidemic is linked to the effects of processed food, which has sugar added to a wide variety of products that used never to include it and has fibre removed. This upsets the balance of leptin and insulin, two hormones which regulate how much we eat.
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