OBESOGENS A S S E S S I N G
8 February 2023
It seems clear that diet, and in particular, the increased and widespread availability of cheap, tasty, and calorie-dense foods over the last several decades, has played a key role in a sustained positive energy balance ((1) from above), and the acquisition of excess body fat ((a) from above) and thus the increase in obesity prevalence. [...] In other words, there is enough confidence in the quality of the evidence that they are candidates for further assessment to determine the final confidence rating in the body of evidence and if they are “known,” “presumed,” “suspected,” or “not classifiable” as obesogens, under the OHAT scheme. [...] The remainder of the scientific statement explores the multiple underlying mechanisms that may contribute to this disorder of the energy homeostasis system, including genetic factors, developmental factors (parental body weight and diet), social and economic factors, diet composition and lifestyle, and other factors, as well as the role of EDCs, specifically BPA and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs,. [...] For example, the 2017 ES statement noted that a meta-analysis of 21 studies in rodents63 and 9 studies in humans64 supported the hypothesis that developmental exposure to PFAS reduces fetal growth, and that this may account at least in part for the purported obesogenic effects of PFAS.65 In the next chapter we discuss the evidence linking maternal smoking and overweight/obesity later in life. [...] A modified Delphi approach to evaluating the strength of the epidemiological and toxicological evidence and the nature of the association between exposures and outcomes was used.