Obesity and obesity-related diseases: A consequence of our man-made chemical environment?


The prevalence of obesity and its related disorders is currently attaining pandemic proportions, both in the Western and the developing world. Although lifestyle choices are commonly accepted as the main reasons, it has recently been suggested that environmental pollutants may provide an alternative cause. Several man-made chemicals have been shown to facilitate the differentiation into adipocyte at environmentally relevant levels. This process is mediated through different nuclear receptors. The endocrine function of the adipocyte itself is also affected by chemicals. This article provides a compact overview of the implicated chemicals and their modes of action. We also present the current level of evidence, linking exposure to these endocrine disrupting chemicals and obesity and its related diseases.

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Dirinck, E. , Jorens, P. and Gaal, L. (2012) Obesity and obesity-related diseases: A consequence of our man-made chemical environment?. Health, 4, 1556-5161. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.412A223.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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