Perinatal exposure to air pollutants is posses threat of childhood obesity in the victims. Multiple studies have found that increased prenatal and early-life exposure to near-roadway pollution (NRP) and second hand smoking (SHS) is associated with increased body mass index (BMI) during childhood which is linked to obesity. Air pollutants such as; Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH), nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matters, have been implicated in this report.
Air pollutants can enter the blood stream and have a direct effect on our physiology. The correlation between an increased BMI in children and air pollution was found to be principally linked to an increase in fat mass rather than differences in lean body mass. One of the major mechanisms involved include;
Endocrine system disruption: This system plays crucial role in controlling body weight via maintenance and delicate balance of circulating levels of metabolic hormones. Most of the pollutants have chemical structure which is very similar to that of some hormones which are actively involved in metabolic regulatory mechanisms. e.g PAH is a mimic of estrogen, therefore it is able to interact directly with estrogen receptors, and instruct somewhat different downstream signals. Perinatal exposure to Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has also been found to promote increase in circulatory levels of adiponectin and Leptin either through structural analogy or stimulatory effects which are still been worked on. Adiponectin and Leptin are key biomarkers in Obesity and Type II diabetes.
Source: Simona Gulbinaitė; sparrho.com