Association of urinary phenols with increased body weight measures and obesity in children and adolescents

J Pediatr. 2014 Oct;165(4):744-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.06.039. Epub 2014 Jul 22.


Objective: To examine the association of urinary levels of the environmental phenol pesticides 2,5-dichlorophenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol, and triclosan with body weight outcomes in children and adolescent participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2010.

Study design: We performed multivariate linear and multinomial logistic regressions to analyze the association of body mass index (BMI) z-score, waist circumference (WC), and obesity with urinary pesticide concentration in children and adolescents.

Results: After adjustment for covariates, we found a statistically significant positive association (P < .05) between both 2,5-dichlorophenol and 2,4-dichlorophenol with BMI z-score, WC, and obesity in children and adolescents. After stratification by age, the significant associations remained only in adolescents (ages 12-19). No associations were found between triclosan and any of the body weight outcomes.

Conclusions: We found an association between dichlorophenols and increased body weight measures (BMI z-score, WC, and obesity) in adolescents. However, further studies, such as a longitudinal study, are needed to confirm and elucidate on our findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Chlorophenols / chemistry
  • Cotinine / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Pediatric Obesity / urine*
  • Pesticides / urine*
  • Phenol / urine*
  • Triclosan / chemistry
  • United States
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult


  • Chlorophenols
  • Pesticides
  • Phenol
  • 2,5-dichlorophenol
  • Triclosan
  • Cotinine
  • 2,4-dichlorophenol