Here's something I've noticed in my scanning of news about the microbiome lately: a lot of articles have been throwing around catchy headlines with some version of the phrase, "your gut bacteria are making you fat".
Some of these articles include:
News Hour 24
The Daily Beast
The Outsmart Hormones blog
The problem with this statement is that it doesn't represent the science. It makes it seem like your gut bacteria just turn on you one day and maliciously decide to make you pack on the pounds.
"Make" is a verb that implies action and intention. Yes, there's evidence that gut bacteria may sometimes be the mechanism kick-starting the process of fat accumulation. But in practice, the problem is the actions you take that mess with the bacterial balance in the first place. Like taking loads of antibiotics without replenishing the good bacteria, or eating the wrong diet.
Gut bacteria are players in the process - dominoes in the chain, if you will - not the things that actively make you become fat. They might be the how, but not the why.
Instead, the headlines could read: "you are making your gut bacteria make you fat".