The hyperlink between air air pollution and weight problems

It’s bad for your lungs, your skin, and your longevity. Well, it turns out that air pollution is crap for your body, too. A new study from the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that people who live in areas with high levels of ozone pollution are more likely to develop a poor mix of gut bacteria (also known as a “microbiome”), which is linked to a high risk of obesity.

The study tracked over 100 young adults in a polluted area in Southern California who provided stool samples (yes, it sounds like it) along with their zip codes so researchers could determine the make-up of their gut bacteria and compare them to air pollution in their neighborhoods in the past year. The results: Overweight people with the greatest ozone exposure also had the least variety of intestinal bacteria.

“This is important because lower diversity has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said study author Tanya Alderete, Ph.D.

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