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The Interplay Between Environmental Chemical Exposures and Obesity

Proceedings of a Workshop

; ; ; .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-38924-2ISBN-10: 0-309-38924-0

In March 2015, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop to explore the role that chemical exposures may play in the development of obesity. The obesity epidemic that has gripped the United States and much of the developed world for the past several decades has proved remarkably resistant to the various approaches tried by clinicians and public health officials to fight it. This raises the possibility that, in addition to the continued exploration of consumer understanding and behavior, new approaches that go beyond the standard focus on energy intake and expenditure may also be needed to combat the multifactorial problem of obesity.

The speakers at the workshop discussed evidence from both studies with animal models and human epidemiological studies that exposure to environmental chemicals is linked both to weight gain and to glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and other aspects of the metabolic syndrome. In addition to conventional environmental chemical exposures, this workshop also included one panel to discuss the potential role of other exposures, including sugar, artificial sweeteners, and antibiotics, in aiding or causing obesity. The participants also examined possible biological pathways and mechanisms underlying the potential linkages. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.


Rapporteur: Robert Pool.

This activity was supported by contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and the ExxonMobil Foundation (unnumbered), The Kresge Foundation (245367), the National Institutes of Health (HHSN26300033), Shell International B.V. (unnumbered), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EP-15-D-000016), and the U.S. Geological Survey (G14AC00448). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

Suggested citation:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The interplay between environmental chemical exposures and obesity: Proceedings of a workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21880.

Copyright 2016 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK379170PMID: 27512752DOI: 10.17226/21880


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