Research Request: Is Lead Poisoning Associated With Obesity?

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As you all know, exposure to lead in infancy can lead to lower IQ, poor education outcomes, and higher rates of violent crime later in life. But another thought popped into my head this weekend. Among other things, lead does its work by weakening executive control in the brain, which is associated with things like impulse control and the ability to associate future effects from present actions. So aside from crime, what else might be affected by lead exposure?

How about obesity? This is just a guess on my part, but it strikes me that a child who loses impulse control and the ability to think about future consequences, might also be more likely to eat without thinking about the added weight down the road. This could easily lead to obesity later in life.

The only reason I’m mentioning this is that I have no way of testing it myself, so I thought I’d throw it out into the ether and see if anyone else has a bright idea for looking into this. Maybe NHANES data? I’m pretty sure a straight ecological study, of the kind that demonstrates the lead-crime link, wouldn’t do any good. But longitudinal data might. Anyone out there have any ideas?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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