Environmental risk factors contributing to childhood overweight and obesity
Anna Kawalec 1  
,   Krystyna Pawlas 1, 2
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Katedra i Zakład Higieny Uniwersytetu Medycznego im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu Kierownik: prof. dr hab. n. med. K. Pawlas
Instytut Medycyny Pracy i Zdrowia Środowiskowego w Sosnowcu
Anna Kawalec   

Katedra i Zakład Higieny Uniwersytetu Medycznego we Wrocławiu ul. Mikulicza-Radeckiego 7 50-345 Wrocław tel. 71-784-01-05 fax. 71-784-15-03
Med Srod. 2017;20(2):7–12
The rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and teenagers is a major challenge for public health. Obesity is a complex and heterogeneous disorder, affected by many interacting genetic and non-genetic factors. The aim of this article was to focus on the environmental risk factors for childhood obesity. Among different factors contributing to an increase in BMI, we highlighted the role of exposure to cigarette smoke, DDT, bisphenol A, pesticides, and noise. The correlation between exposure to environmental toxins during prenatal period and obesity development in later life was underlined. According to obesogenic environment hypothesis, some features of distal and proximal neighbourhood also have a pivotal impact on children's behaviour and may contribute to increasing the risk for overweight. The area of residence (urban or rural) may affect access to sports facilities or other opportunities for physical activity. Therefore, for designing adequate prophylaxis, it is essential to take into account modifiable risk factors present in residential neighbourhood. Prevention of childhood obesity should integrate activities for both micro- and macro-environment surrounding the child.
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