“…Farmers may have fuelled the obesity epidemic by using antibiotics to fatten up livestock, a new study suggests.
Researchers found evidence that low exposure to the drugs upsets the delicate balance of gut bacteria which in turn alters metabolism.
The findings indicate a possible link between rising rates of obesity and modern farming methods.
For decades since the 1950s, farmers have used low non-therapeutic doses of antibiotics to increase the body weight of cows, sheep, pigs and chickens.
The practice has sparked fears of spreading antibiotic resistance as the drugs get into the food chain – leading to a tightening of the rules.
Using antibiotics to fatten up farm animals is now banned in the EU – but still allowed in the US and other countries.
The new research suggests antibiotic use on farms may pose other risks besides breeding resistant bugs.
Exposure to the medicines may seriously impair the metabolic development of children -
- setting them up for a lifetime struggle with their weight…”
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