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Study says disinfectants could make children overweight

(KPRC, NBC News Channel)

A new Canadian study says the disinfectants that we use in our homes could make children fat.

In the past few decades, scientists say asthma, type 1 diabetes, obesity and other diseases are sharply on the rise among kids. What's changed? According to a study out of Canada, exposure to the ingredients that kill bacteria could kill the ones we need to be healthy and keep your kids from maintaining a healthy weight.

It's very, very compelling research, according to Dr. Geoffrey Preidis, a pediatric gastroenterologist from Texas Children's Hospital. But he's not convinced.

"We still don't know what is causing that link. For example, some of the households that use specific types of cleaners, they might also encourage their children to run around outside and exercise as opposed to spending hours in front of a television or a screen," he said.

There is one thing he agrees with. He says we're too sterile.

"Several hundred years ago many of our ancestors lived on farms. There was no refrigeration, no electricity. So that is one of the key changes that many people are pointing to that could be driving this increased risk of certain diseases," he said.

So the challenge is finding the balance of bacteria we should live with. One finding from the Canadian researchers is child obesity is less common in households that cleaned with eco-friendly products.

But Dr. Preidis is not ready to make that recommendation yet either. He thinks that adding more cultured foods to your diet could create a healthy gut.

Foods that have live bacteria like yogurt, kefir and kombucha may vary the gut microbiome enough to make us healthier humans.

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