Diabetes risk tied to common chemicals, curbed by healthy habits (Reuters Health) – Chemicals in everything from food wrappers to clothing and furniture are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, but much of this added risk is reduced with good eating and exercise habits, a study suggests. Researchers tested blood samples from 957 diabetes-free people for chemicals known as PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances), which are used to make consumer products stain-resistant, water-repellant and nonstick. Participants were then randomly assigned to an intensive lifestyle modification program designed to help them lose 7% of their body weight, or to take a placebo pill and stick with their usual eating and exercise habits. After two years, researchers did another round of blood tests for PFAS. When the tests showed levels of one type of PFA known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) had risen, people in the placebo group were more likely to develop diabetes in subsequent years. But the risk of diabetes didn’t go up for people who had made dramatic changes to their eating and exercise habits.