Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fattening pollutants? Chemicals in mother’s blood contribute to child’s obesity, study suggests

Date:
October 6, 2010
Source:
Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS)
Summary:
Babies whose mothers had relatively high levels of the chemical DDE in their blood were more likely to both grow rapidly during their first 6 months and to have a high body mass index (BMI) by 14 months, according to scientists. DDE, an endocrine disruptor, is a by-product of the pesticide DDT.

Babies whose mothers had relatively high levels of the chemical DDE in their blood were more likely to both grow rapidly during their first 6 months and to have a high body mass index (BMI) by 14 months, according to a team of scientists based in Barcelona, Spain. DDE, an endocrine disruptor, is a by-product of the pesticide DDT.

Related Articles


Published online October 5 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), the study examined data collected between 2004 and 2006 on a representative sample of 518 Spanish women in their first trimester of pregnancy. Among babies whose mothers were normal weight pre-pregnancy, those babies whose mothers had DDE levels in the top 75 percent of exposure were twice as likely to grow rapidly during their first 6 months as babies whose mothers had the lowest DDE levels. Infants in the top 50 percent of exposure were three times more likely to have high BMI scores at 14 months. The researchers did not observe an association between DDE and weight for babies of mothers who were overweight before pregnancy.

Two other human studies have shown an association between prenatal DDE exposure and obesity later in life. "However, this analysis suggests, to our knowledge for the first time, that fetal DDE exposure may promote rapid growth starting in the immediate postnatal period," report lead author and epidemiologist Michelle A. Mendez, of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, and her colleagues. Laboratory studies have suggested that "exposure to chemicals with endocrine-disrupting properties might promote shifts in appetite regulation, but may also promote obesity through metabolic changes," says Mendez.

Only 14 percent of all the children had a BMI exceeding the 85th percentile, but rapid growers of both normal-weight and overweight mothers were five times more likely than other babies to have a high BMI at 14 months. Other studies have shown that infants who grow rapidly also tend to have higher levels of body fat. More than 40 studies have associated rapid weight gain in the first few months of life with obesity and metabolic disorders later in life, the team writes.

The team tested the mothers' blood serum for other organochlorine compounds with endocrine-disrupting properties, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but these chemicals showed no association with early weight gain. The researchers controlled for other factors in rapid growth and high BMI, such as parents' height and weight, duration of breastfeeding, and whether the mother smoked. The team is continuing to study the children, who are now 4 years old.

"Most of the exposure to organochlorine compounds is thought to come from the diet," says Mendez. Foods including meats, fish, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables are potential sources of exposure to DDE and similar compounds. "These chemicals persist in the environment as they are highly resistant to degradation," Mendez says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michelle A. Mendez, Raquel Garcia-Esteban, M?nica Guxens, Martine Vrijheid, Manolis Kogevinas, Fernando Go?i, Silvia Fochs, Jordi Sunyer. Prenatal Organochlorine Compound Exposure, Rapid Weight Gain and Overweight in Infancy. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2010; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002169

Cite This Page:

Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). "Fattening pollutants? Chemicals in mother’s blood contribute to child’s obesity, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006115745.htm>.
Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). (2010, October 6). Fattening pollutants? Chemicals in mother’s blood contribute to child’s obesity, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006115745.htm
Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). "Fattening pollutants? Chemicals in mother’s blood contribute to child’s obesity, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006115745.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins