Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2020 Mar 1;161(3):bqaa024.
doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqaa024.

Environmental Obesogens and Their Impact on Susceptibility to Obesity: New Mechanisms and Chemicals

Free PMC article

Environmental Obesogens and Their Impact on Susceptibility to Obesity: New Mechanisms and Chemicals

Riann Jenay Egusquiza et al. Endocrinology. .
Free PMC article


The incidence of obesity has reached an all-time high, and this increase is observed worldwide. There is a growing need to understand all the factors that contribute to obesity to effectively treat and prevent it and associated comorbidities. The obesogen hypothesis proposes that there are chemicals in our environment termed obesogens that can affect individual susceptibility to obesity and thus help explain the recent large increases in obesity. This review discusses current advances in our understanding of how obesogens act to affect health and obesity susceptibility. Newly discovered obesogens and potential obesogens are discussed, together with future directions for research that may help to reduce the impact of these pervasive chemicals.

Keywords: EDCs; adipogenesis; endocrine disrupting chemicals; obesity; obesogen; transgenerational.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Diagram of known and proposed mechanisms and effects of obesogen exposure. Known mechanisms through which obesogens act are demonstrated by solid purple arrows. Proposed mechanisms are shown by arrows with a dashed black line. Plausible, but uninvestigated, interactions between obesogen actions are shown by arrows with a dashed gray line. Known mechanisms are described in green boxes, and the outcomes of obesogen exposures are shown in pale red boxes.

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Geneva, Switzerland: Fact Sheet, World Health Organization; 2018. overweight
    1. Hales CM, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2015-2016. NCHS Data Brief. 2017;(288):1–8. - PubMed
    1. GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators; Afshin A, Forouzanfar MH, Reitsma MB, et al. Health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(1):13–27. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Brown RE, Sharma AM, Ardern CI, Mirdamadi P, Mirdamadi P, Kuk JL. Secular differences in the association between caloric intake, macronutrient intake, and physical activity with obesity. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2016;10(3):243–255. - PubMed
    1. Ludwig DS, Ebbeling CB. The carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity: beyond “calories in, calories out”. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(8):1098–1103. - PMC - PubMed