On May 1, 2016 a group of scientific experts in environmental contaminants, metabolism, obesity, epidemiology, risk assessment, epigenetics, and other relevant fields, released a consensus statement on the role of environmental contaminants in the global obesity epidemic, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers discussed the effects of hormone disrupting contaminants on metabolism and adipose tissue development at the 2nd International Workshop on Obesity and Environmental Contaminants held on October 8-9, 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden (FPF reported). The statement summarizes scientific evidence from various animal and epidemiological studies in support of the hypothesis that environmental contaminants could contribute to the global obesity epidemic. Some of the chemicals addressed include bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), phthalates, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, CAS 35-67-1) – all commonly used in food contact materials (FCMs). The scientists conclude that there is an urgent need to reduce exposures to environmental contaminants “to restrict the potentially harmful effects of environmental contaminants on metabolism.” Some of the recommended measures include (i) increasing research into chemical obesogen-induced metabolic disruptions, (ii) educating physicians and other health care professionals regarding the effects of environmental contaminants on metabolism, (iii) incorporating knowledge of obesogenic environmental chemicals into regulation and policy making, and (iv) disclosing all chemicals included in consumer products in order to increase public awareness and provide consumers with information on how to avoid exposures.
Lind, L. et al. (2016). “Uppsala consensus statement on environmental contaminants and the global obesity epidemic.” Environmental Health Perspectives 124:A81-A83.