Living in a city makes you fat, infertile, depressedNovember 22nd, 2011 - 12:12 am ICT by IANS
London, Nov 21 (IANS) Babies born in cities face a number of health problems, as more and more people are shunning pastoral life to stay in urban centres.
In 1900, only 14 percent of the global population lived in cities. In 2008 that figure leaped to 50 percent. By 2050, the United Nations predicts that 70 percent of people will be urbanites.
City-slickers, compared with their rural counterparts, are wealthier and have better job prospects. They enjoy bountiful food, superior healthcare and cleaner sanitation.
But healthwise, they are exposed to mental illness, immune diseases, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and fertility problems. Daily exposure to pollution can set us up for a lifetime of ill-health. And as cities become ever more crowded, these problems are only going to get worse.
The latest studies indicate that daily exposure to urban pollution can affect us before we are even born - leaving us prone to a lifetime of ill-health, the Daily Mail reports.
Scientists have discovered that babies born in cities are bigger and heavier - normally a good sign - than those born in the countryside.
But when they compared the placentas of mothers from a busy city and a quiet rural district, they found that the city mums had far higher levels of chemical pollutants called xenoestrogens in their blood - and in that of their unborn babies.
Xenoestrogens are industrial chemicals that affect our bodies in similar ways to the female hormone, oestrogen.They are found in petrol fumes and are more abundant in industrial areas than the countryside.
As well as causing excess foetal growth, they have been linked to problems such as obesity, hyperactivity, early puberty, fertility problems and cancers of the lung, breast and prostate.
The researchers, from the University of Granada, Spain, found that although city mothers were older and weighed less than rural mothers, they still gave birth to larger babies.
Maria Marcos, who led the study, says the toxic xenoestrogens seem to have a significant effect on the development of unborn children. Her report provides the latest evidence that city air can seriously hinder normal childhood development.
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- Overweight mothers could be putting babies at risk - Aug 15, 2012
- Women over 45 giving birth to more babies - Jan 28, 2012
- Prenatal exposure to pollutants linked to behavioural problems in children - Apr 13, 2011
- Dieting in pregnancy can lower baby's IQ - Jan 18, 2011
- Exposure to pesticides in mothers linked to kids low IQ - Apr 22, 2011
- Pollution 'can cause obesity and diabetes' - Dec 28, 2010
- Are we programmed to be fat in the womb? - Mar 16, 2012
- Keep kids away from crime, don't smoke during pregnancy - Nov 17, 2010
- Eating less during early pregnancy impairs foetal brain development - Jan 18, 2011
- Many Britons prefer the countryside to cities - Sep 06, 2012
- Stressful pregnancy could harm child - Aug 01, 2012
- Carbon monoxide has calming effect on nerves - Nov 09, 2011
- Prenatal air pollution exposure 'adversely affects kids' cognitive development' - Apr 21, 2010
- Pregnant women's exposure to pollutants harms kids - Mar 22, 2012
Tags: busy city, chemical pollutants, city slickers, daily mail, fertility problems, foetal growth, global population, granada spain, heart disease cancer, hormone oestrogen, immune diseases, industrial chemicals, mail reports, pastoral life, petrol fumes, placentas, rural district, unborn babies, university of granada, urban pollution