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2017 Conference

Abstract Number: 316 | ID: 2017-316

Influences of Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors on Childhood Obesity

Nicolle S. Tulve(National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, United States, tulve.nicolle@epa.gov), Sally Darney(National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, United States), Kim Lichtveld(University of Findlay, United States), Symielle Gaston(ORISE Post-Doctoral Participant, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, United States), Kent Thomas(National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, United States), Jennifer Cashdollar(National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, United States), Kathleen Hibbert(National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, United States), Nica Louie(National Center for Environmental Research, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States), Intaek Hahn(National Center for Environmental Research, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States)
Background/Aim: Children are exposed to diverse chemical and non-chemical stressors in their built, natural, and social environments; and these are thought to contribute to their health and well-being during each developmental stage throughout life. Here we focus on growing evidence that interacting stressors in children’s environments contribute to recent and marked increases in childhood overweight/obesity/obesity-related metabolic dysfunction. Additionally, inherent characteristics (age, sex, genetics) and lifestage-specific activities and behaviors need to be considered along with the stressors. Our objective is to show evidence of the interrelationships between chemical and non-chemical stressors, inherent characteristics, and activities/behaviors in addressing childhood overweight/obesity/obesity-related metabolic dysfunction.
Methods: Literature reviews, data mining, meta-analyses, and laboratory work collected information on chemical and non-chemical stressors and their links to childhood overweight/obesity/obesity-related metabolic dysfunction. In vitro evaluations of the obesogenic potentials of chemicals were conducted with the 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte culture system.
Results: A literature survey identified many stressors associated with childhood obesity. In our individual stressor meta-analyses, smoking in the home/during pregnancy, early life antibiotic use, bisphenol A, family income, access to supermarkets, diet, and stress had significant (p<0.05) results and increased odds of the child being overweight/obese. Hours of television and sedentary behavior also increased the odds of the child being overweight/obese. Breastfeeding was associated with reduced odds (p<0.05). Cross-sectional analyses suggested childhood metabolic dysfunction may be associated with interactions between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and selected non-chemical stressors such as family income. Cell culture analyses illustrated the influence of perfluorinated chemicals on adipocyte differentiation and function.
Conclusions: Our analyses suggest that childhood overweight/obesity/obesity-related metabolic dysfunction result from interactions of many chemical and non-chemical stressors in combination with inherent characteristics and children’s activities and behaviors. Further research is required to infer causal associations.