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Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Dec;23(4):182-195. doi: 10.6065/apem.2018.23.4.182. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Early-life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals associates with childhood obesity.

Yang C1, Lee HK1,2, Kong APS3,4,5, Lim LL3,6,7, Cai Z1,2, Chung ACK1,2.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Environmental and Biological Analysis, Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, China.
2
HKBU Institute for Research and Continuing Education, Shenzhen, China.
3
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China.
4
Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China.
5
Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China.
6
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
7
Asia Diabetes Foundation, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Abstract

Increasing prevalence of childhood obesity poses threats to the global health burden. Because this rising prevalence cannot be fully explained by traditional risk factors such as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, early-life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is recognized as emerging novel risk factors for childhood obesity. EDCs can disrupt the hormone-mediated metabolic pathways, affect children's growth and mediate the development of childhood obesity. Many organic pollutants are recently classified to be EDCs. In this review, we summarized the epidemiological and laboratory evidence related to EDCs and childhood obesity, and discussed the possible mechanisms underpinning childhood obesity and early-life exposure to non-persistent organic pollutants (phthalates, bisphenol A, triclosan) and persistent organic pollutants (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Understanding the relationship between EDCs and childhood obesity helps to raise public awareness and formulate public health policy to protect the youth from exposure to the harmful effects of EDCs.

KEYWORDS:

Childhood obesity; Early-life exposure; Persistent organic pollutants; Endocrine disrupting chemicals

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