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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780309389242
Publisher: National Academies Press
Publication date: 08/28/2016
Pages: 172
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acronyms and Abbreviations xiii

1 Introduction 1

Organization of This Proceedings of a Workshop 3

2 Framing the Problem 5

Public Health Overview 5

Environmental Health Overview 10

Discussion 16

References 19

3 Developmental View of the Role of Chemical Exposures and Obesity 21

Effect of Prenatal Exposure to Organochlorines on Childhood Obesity 21

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Onset of Puberty, and Obesity 28

Obelix 35

Discussion 39

References 42

4 Biological Pathways and Environmental Influences 45

High-Throughput Screening of Environmental Chemicals 45

Effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants on Adipose Tissue 49

Transgenerational Effects of Obesogens: Tributyltin 54

Effects of Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol A on Obesity and Metabolic Disease Later in Life 61

Effects of Environmental Chemicals on Energy Metabolism and Insulin Secretion 67

Discussion 72

References 76

5 Other Possible Contributors to Obesity 77

Obesity of Infectious Origins 77

Antibiotics and Obesity 85

Sugar and Obesity 92

Noncaloric Sweeteners and Obesity 97

Panel Discussion 106

References 109

6 Research Needs 111

A Perspective from NIEHS 111

A Perspective from USGS 113

A Perspective from EPA 115

An Obesity Perspective 117

Discussion 118

7 Obesity Policy Solutions Discussed at the Workshop 123

Presentations 124

Discussion 132

References 137


A Workshop Agenda 139

B Speaker Biographical Sketches 147

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