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Mol Endocrinol. 2009 Aug;23(8):1127-34. doi: 10.1210/me.2008-0485. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Minireview: the case for obesogens.

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Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California 92697-2300, USA.


Obesity and obesity-related disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, are epidemic in Western countries, particularly the United States. The conventional wisdom holds that obesity is primarily the result of a positive energy balance, i.e. too many calories in and too few calories burned. Although it is self-evident that fat cannot be accumulated without a higher caloric intake than expenditure, recent research in a number of laboratories suggests the existence of chemicals that alter regulation of energy balance to favor weight gain and obesity. These obesogens derail the homeostatic mechanisms important for weight control, such that exposed individuals are predisposed to weight gain, despite normal diet and exercise. This review considers the evidence for obesogens, how they might act, and where future research is needed to clarify their relative contribution to the obesity epidemic.

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