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Chemicals in toys can lead to obesity

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 21, 2012 15:14 IST

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Chemicals that mimic or interfere with the effect of hormones could be fuelling the obesity epidemic, warns a report.

The chemicals, found in mobile phone cases and tin cans, shampoos and shower curtains, may also help trigger diabetes, researchers have concluded.

The report called for prompt action to reduce exposure, particularly among pregnant women and those planning to start a family. Some experts described the report as "alarming", but others said the key to good health is in what we eat and drink.

The report was commissioned by campaign group CHEM Trust and put together by Spanish and South Korean researchers after they sifted through more than 240 studies on obesity, pollution and type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.

They concluded that the evidence that chemicals can lead to weight gain in animals is "compelling", the Daily Mail reports.

They added that the link between environmental chemicals and diabetes in people was first made more than 15 years ago and the volume and strength of evidence has been "particularly persuasive" since 2006.

Tim Lobstein, of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, said: "People trying to lose weight will be undermined by these chemicals which they cannot see, cannot taste and do not know how to avoid."