Although diet and exercise levels have long been known to directly affect obesity and diabetes risks, United States government researchers explain there might be more to the equation.
In fact, chemicals found in cigarette smoke and certain plastics may increase the risks of obesity or diabetes.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey researchers explained a new study found direct correlations between smoking while pregnant and future risks of type 2 diabetes or obesity.
When moms smoke while pregnant, the chances of the child being overweight during childhood, as a teenager, and as an adult are drastically increased.
The theories have been tested using nicotine on young animals. Additionally, exposure to secondhand smoke or harmful chemicals, like those in plastics or arsenic, have been directly shown to increase risks of obesity and diabetes.
Many mental health medications have been shown to increase the chances of diabetes or obesity as well, meaning pregnant women should exercise caution when medicating.
While many external factors have shown to increase risk factors for diabetes and obesity, experts suggest additional research be conducted to further determine what causes play a larger role.
Regardless, engaging in regular physical activity and consuming a healthy, balanced diet have been recommended by experts to lower many health risks.