Gene changes, diabetes continuing legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge

Cambodia’s diabetes clinics are overflowing. On its surface, it looks like little more than another country’s growing pains as it rapidly industrializes, shifting from a lifestyle of hard labor and scant food to motorbikes and cheap snacks. But endocrinologist Lim Keuky, president of the Cambodian Diabetes Association, isn’t just seeing the typical sufferers of Type 2 diabetes: the middle aged and overweight. Instead, a startling number of Keuky’s patients are in their early 30s, with relatively normal weights.

The brutal Khmer Rouge regime has left physical and mental scars across Cambodia. During the regime’s time in power from 1975 to 1979, more than 1.5 million people perished out of the country’s 7 million. Many were executed and left in mass graves, hundreds of thousands of which still dot the countryside. Many more died of starvation and disease.

The scars of this famine can still be seen today, especially in Keuky’s diabetes clinics. Keuky believes that this famine has etched itself into the DNA of the Cambodians conceived and born during this time, leaving them profoundly vulnerable to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Read the full, original story: How Famines Make Future Generations Fat

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend