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Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and obesity development in humans: A review

Authors

  • J. L. Tang-Péronard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Unit for Dietary Studies, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
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  • H. R. Andersen,

    1. Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
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  • T. K. Jensen,

    1. Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
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  • B. L. Heitmann

    1. Research Unit for Dietary Studies, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
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  • The paper and the data have not previously been published, either in whole or in part. No similar paper is in press or under review elsewhere. The submitted paper is an independent contribution.

  • • Each author has contributed to the conceptions and design of the work, the acquisition of data or the analysis of the data in a manner substantial enough to take public responsibility for it.

  • • Each has reviewed the final version of the manuscript and approves it for publication.

JL Tang-Péronard, Copenhagen Capital Region, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Øster Søgade 18, 1, DK-1357 Copenhagen K, Denmark. E-mail: jltp@ipm.regionh.dk

Summary

This study reviewed the literature on the relations between exposure to chemicals with endocrine-disrupting abilities and obesity in humans. The studies generally indicated that exposure to some of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals was associated with an increase in body size in humans. The results depended on the type of chemical, exposure level, timing of exposure and gender. Nearly all the studies investigating dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) found that exposure was associated with an increase in body size, whereas the results of the studies investigating polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure were depending on dose, timing and gender. Hexachlorobenzene, polybrominated biphenyls, beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, oxychlordane and phthalates were likewise generally associated with an increase in body size. Studies investigating polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans found either associations with weight gain or an increase in waist circumference, or no association. The one study investigating relations with bisphenol A found no association. Studies investigating prenatal exposure indicated that exposure in utero may cause permanent physiological changes predisposing to later weight gain. The study findings suggest that some endocrine disruptors may play a role for the development of the obesity epidemic, in addition to the more commonly perceived putative contributors.

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