The Endocrine Society has released a new a new statement on the role of endocrine disruptors in the development of obesity and other conditions. The American Chemical Society challenges the Endocrine Society’s report.
September 30, 2010
Perhaps the greatest gap between science and policy-making is the understanding of the causes of obesity. For most of the public and policy-makers, it is beyond discussion that obesity is caused by poor diets and lack of physical activity. Scientists, on the other hand, know that, without diminishing the roles diet and exercise play, they are not the whole story. Obesity is far more complex. This gap has significant implications. Billions of dollars have been spent on strategies which, to be kind, are simplistic. Not only is this wasteful, it distracts or delays our understanding and the development of more effective remedies. Probably no better description, in great detail, of the ‘putative’ causes of obesity is contained in this article by McAllister and a prestigious group of co-authors. Ten putative contributors to the obesity epidemic. [Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009] – PubMed result. Even if the article is a bit dense, it is worth it to make us all more humble in approaching this disease.
Genes are not the only way characteristics may be passed from generation to generation. Researchers are actively pursuing what is called epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to changes in appearance, or phenotype, which is not due to changes in the DNA, which regulates genes and their expression.
The intrauterine environment (the womb) has been shown to affect the child’s disposition to obesity. Fetal origins of obesity. [Obes Res. 2003] – PubMed Result and Programming of body composition by early growth an…[Proc Nutr Soc. 2007] – PubMed Result Maternal and child obesity: the causal link. [Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2009] – PubMed Result Gestational weight gain may predispose offspring to obesity and high blood pressure Associations of gestational weight gain with offsp…[Circulation. 2009] – PubMed Result and Gestational weight gain and risk of overweight in …[Am J Clin Nutr. 2008] – PubMed Result
Multiple factors are probably at work leading to an increased risk of developing obesity. Developmental origins of childhood overweight: pot…[Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008] – PubMed Result and Early determinants of overweight at 4.5 years in a…[Int J Obes (Lond). 2006] – PubMed Result
The question is to what extent the genes or the intrauterine environment influence the progression to adult obesity. The influence of birthweight and intrauterine envi…[Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003] – PubMed Result
One way in which the fetus might be affected in his or her development is by enhanced nutrition in the womb
Intrauterine changes are thought by some to contribute to the increase in obesity in India. Obesity epidemic in India: intrauterine origins? [Proc Nutr Soc. 2004] – PubMed Result
Maternal weight gain during pregnancy may affect the baby’s birth weight and long term risks Gestational weight gain and child adiposity at age…[Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007] – PubMed Result
Detrimental influences in the womb, such as smoking Maternal smoking during pregnancy and child overwe…[Int J Obes (Lond). 2008] – PubMed Result, Association of maternal lifestyles including smoki…[Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007] – PubMed Result, Associations of maternal prenatal smoking with chi…[Obes Res. 2005] – PubMed Result, and famine The Dutch Famine of 1944-1945: a pathophysiologica…[Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006] – PubMed Result or harmful chemicals Developmental exposure to endocrine disruptors and…[Reprod Toxicol. 2007 Apr-May] – PubMed Result and Role of nutrition and environmental endocrine disr…[Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009] – PubMed Result
An unique, new study found that maternal weight loss from bariatric surgery may improve cardiometabolic risks in infants which is sustained into adulthood.Effects of Maternal Surgical Weight Loss in Mother…[J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009] – PubMed Result
Predictors of body size in infancy Predictors of body size in the first 2 y of life: …[Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004] – PubMed Result
Parental feeding styles
Children from obese parents were more likely to have a preference for fatty foods, lower liking for vegetables and a more overeating type eating style than children with lean parents as well as a greater preference for sedentary activities. Food and activity preferences in children of lean …[Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001] – PubMed Result The picture of the obese mother using food for non-nutritive purposes may be a myth but there obese mothers may exercise less control. Parental feeding style and the inter-generational …[Obes Res. 2002] – PubMed Result Infants of overweight/obese mothers have higher energy intake Relationship between maternal obesity and infant f…[Nutr J. 2005] – PubMed Result Infants born to overweight/obese mothers have lower resting metabolic rate, higher BMI Lower energy expenditures in infants from obese bi…[Nutr J. 2008] – PubMed Result
Breastfeeding has long been considered protective against the development of obesity Association between infant breastfeeding and overw…[JAMA. 2001] – PubMed Result
But not everyone is convinced.Critical review of the World Health Organization’s…[Obes Rev. 2008] – PubMed Result and Breastfeeding and the risk of childhood obesity. [Coll Antropol. 2007] – PubMed Result
How breastfeeding might be protective has not yet been determined. Mechanisms underlying the association between brea…[Int J Pediatr Obes. 2009] – PubMed Result
Overweight/obese mothers may be less likely to breastfeed their children than normal weight mothers. A systematic review of maternal obesity and breast…[BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2007] – PubMed Result