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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 896789, 8 pages
Review Article

Role of Environmental Chemicals in Obesity: A Systematic Review on the Current Evidence

1Child Growth and Development Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 81676-36954, Iran
2Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 81676-36954, Iran
3Environment Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 81676-36954, Iran

Received 27 March 2013; Accepted 7 May 2013

Academic Editor: Mohammad Mehdi Amin

Copyright © 2013 Roya Kelishadi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the experimental and human studies on obesogenic chemicals and their mechanisms of action to provide a comprehensive view on the multifactorial aspects of obesity. The literatures were searched in available databases. The relevant papers were selected in three phases. After quality assessment, two reviewers extracted the data while another checked their extracted data. In this review, we summarized information regarding environmental chemicals that can be associated with obesity. Most evidence comes from experimental and laboratory studies; however a growing number of human studies also support the role of obesogenic chemicals. The current evidence proposes that the systemic responses to exposure to environmental factors could potentially increase the risk of excess weight. The effects of exposure to these chemicals are of crucial importance during developmental phases of life, when preprogramming for an adipogenic outcome may occur. By considering the adverse transgenerational effects of obesogen chemicals on human health, the global obesity epidemic should be considered as a multifactorial complex disorder necessitating the emphasis of public health interventions for environmental protection.