QHello, Im doing a school project about GMOS and if they are causing obesity in the world. It would be great if I could have some information about the subject.

Hello, Im doing a school project about GMOS and if they are causing obesity in the world. It would be great if I could have some information about the subject.

AExpert Answer

Obesity is a major health concern for the U.S. but also in many countries around the world. There are many factors that may have influenced the rapid rise in obesity observed over the past 50 years. Among these are more sedentary and stressful lifestyles, larger portion sizes and more access to fast food. Also, higher consumption of sweetened beverages, especially by children and young adults, has been reported. All of these factors create an imbalance of energy leading to more calories consumed than expended which leads to gain in body fat. Other ideas about the causes of obesity have been proposed but have not confirmed. These include changes in gut microorganisms, viruses and contaminants in the water and air. There is no evidence to support a connection between GMO crops and obesity.


A connection between the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the food system and obesity has been made by some people. The production of GMO grain, mostly corn and soybeans, in the US was about zero in the early 1990s and increased to 80-90% of the crop by 2010. During the same time period, obesity became more recognized as a major health concern and therefore it was easy to suggest a correlation between the two events. However, the obesity problem was well underway prior to the introduction of GMO crops in the U.S. Hence, the timing of GMO introduction and obesity rates do not suggest a relationship.


Another concern that has been raised between GMO crops and obesity is that as more corn was produced with better yields due to GMO traits, the availability of high fructose corn syrup increased. This led to lower costs for this sweetener, compared to sugar. It has been proposed that as more high fructose corn syrup was used by food manufacturers, this contributed to the obesity problem. There has been a substantial debate in the scientific community about the role of high fructose corn syrup in the obesity problem, and the general consensus is that high fructose corn syrup is equivalent to sugar in calorie load and is not more likely to cause obesity than any other form of caloric sweetener.


GMO technology is associated with more use of selected herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup) which has also been suggested as a causative factor in obesity. Many studies have repeatedly found that glyphosate is not linked to health problems in the general population. Similarly, other traits used in GMO plants have been found to be safe for humans and animals to consume and there is no evidence that there is any connection to obesity or any other type of illness. 

Posted on May 6, 2018
The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a barcode (which has numbers beneath it) which identifies the product and the manufacturer. I think you may be thinking of the PLU (Price Look Up) code which is the 4 or 5 digit number on produce used to link a price with an item. The PLU code is a voluntary program that assigns numbers to produce items, this helps cashiers identify the correct price for a produce item. Growers/Packers can use the number "9" prefix to this 4-digit numeric code to... Read More
Posted on May 10, 2017
The simple answer is that 20+ years of composition assessments of GMO crops have demonstrated that crop composition is not appreciably affected by the GM process (1). In addition, data collected through that time have indicated that general factors such as the growth environment can contribute to notable variation in component levels (2). Plant agglutinins (or lectins) and amylase inhibitors are examples of anti-nutritional compounds that may be present in crops. The relevance of such a... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2018
Believe it or not, I jump at opportunities to talk about aquatic life, so thank you for your interest. I developed a passion for aquatic animals early on and remain grateful that I have managed to explore my passions in ecotoxicology for over 25 years! This is a very general question in terms of pesticide/herbicide options that are commercially available and as well as applications. I will focus on glyphosate and dicamba specifically. Two active ingredients in herbicidal formulations that... Read More