[PART I – MYSTERIES] [PART II – CURRENT THEORIES OF OBESITY ARE INADEQUATE] [PART III – ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS] [INTERLUDE A – CICO KILLER, QU’EST-CE QUE C’EST?] [PART IV – CRITERIA]
Obesity in the United States – Dysbiosis from Exposure to Low-Dose Antibiotics? suggests that the obesity epidemic is driven by population-wide exposure to residual antibiotics from livestock cultivation, and the resulting impact on gut microbiota.
This is one of the most similar proposals to the theory presented in A Chemical Hunger, though they don’t go quite as far as we do, still attributing some of the influence to diet and exercise: “Most reports attribute the obesity epidemic to factors such as excess food energy intake, changes in diet and eating behavior, and increasing sedentary life style. Undoubtedly, these factors contribute, but can they all account for the rapid increase in this problem that occurred over the last two decades?”
They make a pretty compelling case. A large percentage of antibiotics are excreted in animal waste and end up in the water supply, where they affect natural microorganisms. Relevant to our interests, antibiotics are more and more prevalent in rivers as they make their way towards the ocean: “The only site at which no antibiotics were detected,” they write, “was the pristine site in the mountains before the river had encountered urban or agricultural landscapes. By the time the river had exited the urban area, 6 of the 11 antibiotic compounds that were monitored were found in the samples. At Site 5, which had both urban and agricultural influences all five of the TCs monitored were detected.”