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Curr Environ Health Rep. 2015 Dec;2(4):339-47. doi: 10.1007/s40572-015-0068-6.

Maternal Exposure to Synthetic Chemicals and Obesity in the Offspring: Recent Findings.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, 1-1867, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2029, USA. yunliu@umich.edu.
2
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, 1-1867, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2029, USA. karenep@umich.edu.
3
Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. karenep@umich.edu.
4
Departments of Nutrition and of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard W.T. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. karenep@umich.edu.

Abstract

Experimental studies suggest perinatal exposures to synthetic chemicals may be associated with early onset obesity, although this hypothesis has not been extensively examined in humans. This article summarizes the evidence relating maternal perinatal exposure to common persistent organic compounds (polychlorinated biphenyl, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexane), perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctane sulfonate, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and tributyltin, and nonpersistent compounds (phthalates, bisphenol A) on child obesity during sensitive developmental periods. Twenty-two epidemiologic studies published from 2011 to 2015 offer inconsistent support for the obesogenic effects of most substances and are limited by relatively small sample sizes and indirect measures of adiposity. The clearest findings suggest an influence of maternal dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene exposure on offspring overweight and obesity. Recommendations for future epidemiological research include longer follow-up of effects of pre- and postnatal exposures in large samples; utilization of direct measures of adiposity; and consideration of effect modification by sex, birth weight, dietary fat, and maternal weight status.

KEYWORDS:

Child; Environmental obesogen; Infant growth; Maternal exposure; Obesity; Overweight; Weight gain

PMID:
26403844
PMCID:
PMC5482496
DOI:
10.1007/s40572-015-0068-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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