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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

New study shows Air pollution is making women fat

A new University of Michigan (UM) study suggests that air pollution may be a factor in tipping the scale for women’s weight. 

According to Xin Wang, epidemiology research investigator at the UM school of public health and the study’s first author, women in their late 40s and early 50s saw increases in their body size and composition measures after being exposed long-term to air pollution — specifically, higher levels of fine particles, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone.

For instance, body fat increased by 4.5% or about 2.6 pounds, according to the study.

Data was drawn from 1,654 White, Black, Chinese, and Japanese women from the study of women’s health across the nation.

The women, whose baseline median age was nearly 50 years, were tracked from 2000 to 2008.

According to the study, annual air pollution exposures were assigned by linking residential addresses with hybrid estimates of air pollutant concentrations.

Body size was measured, and body composition was measured at approximately annual visits.

Exposure to air pollution was linked with higher body fat, higher proportion fat and lower lean mass among midlife women, the study found.

“Since the study focused on midlife women, the findings can’t be generalised to men or women in other age ranges,” Wang said.

Obesity has been a major global health issue in recent decades as with exposure to unhealthy diets and lack of regular exercise.

Observed women who were exposed to poor air quality, specifically higher levels of fine particles, such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone, had seen increases in their body size, according to study author Xin Wang, an epidemiology research investigator at the University of Michigan.

The exposure to air pollution was tied to higher body fat, fat proportion and lower lean mass for middle-aged women. EurekAlert noted that “body fat increased by 4.5%, or about 2.6 pounds.”

The data came from a mix of 1,654 white, black, Chinese and Japanese women whose median age was 50. They had been tracked for eight years from 2000 to 2008.

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