New evidence compiled by the National Toxicology Program makes a strong case about the connection between some chemicals, especially chemicals in cigarettes, and the onset of diabetes and obesity.

The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, held a workshop recently to look at links between diabetes and obesity and chemicals such as arsenic, chemicals found in plastic, pesticides and cigarette smoke. Michael Gallo of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, led the two-day workshop. "Some of these associations are pretty strong," he cautioned.  

The strongest link was that between smoking while pregnant and a child's later risk of becoming obese and developing type-2 diabetes. The chain of events goes something like this: When a woman smokes while pregnant, the chances are high that her baby will be underweight at birth. This increases a child's risk of obesity later in life which in turn can lead to type-2 diabetes.

According to Gallo, at least 70 percent of cases of obesity and diabetes are caused directly by poor diet and insufficient exercise.  

[via Reuters]