Obesity is a major public health problem because it is a risk factor for metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Notably, pollutants endowed with endocrine disrupting activities have been charged to contribute to the etiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes, especially if exposure occurs during the early life shown to be a highly vulnerable window of time. An overview on endocrine disrupters in relation with the obesogen and metabolic disruption hypothesis is presented. Convincing data support the plausibility of such hypothesis. They also highlight the limits of the current threshold model used in risk assessment which focused on single chemicals and does not take into account potential effects of mixtures containing pollutants at environmental doses, e.g. the real life exposure. Certainly, the principle of precaution should guide the making of decisions especially when considering early life exposure.
© 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.