News from ISGlobal
How do environmental exposures during pregnancy and childhood influence the risk of obesity in children? The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and the University of Southern California led the first major study to investigate the associations between many pollutants and environmental factors — 77 prenatal and 96 childhood exposures — and the risk of childhood obesity. The findings show that air pollution, smoking and certain characteristics of the built environment — such as high population density — may play a role in the development of obesity in children.
To date, several studies have addressed the effect of environmental pollutants, lifestyle factors, and urban environment factors on childhood obesity, but they studied each single exposure separately. The exposome concept has changed the way we investigate how environmental risks affect health. Instead of analysing the possible health consequences of, exposome studies consider many different exposures a person faces altogether. This approach takes into account many elements we are exposed to through our diet, lifestyle and the environment where we live.
The new study, which forms a part of the HELIX project and was published in Environmental Health Perspectives, used data on more than 1,300 children aged 6 to 11 years from birth cohort studies in six European countries: France, Greece, Lithuania, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Vrijheid M, Fossati S, Maitre L et al. Early-life Environmental Exposures and Childhood Obesity: an Exposome-wide Approach. Environmental Health Perspectives, June 2020. DOI: 10.1289/EHP5975