Childhood obesity is a global health concern. Air pollution is also a crucial health threat, especially in developing countries. Over the past decade, a number of epidemiologic and animal studies have suggested a possible role of pre- or postnatal exposure to air pollutants on childhood obesity. Although no clear mechanism has been elucidated, physical inactivity, oxidative stress, and epigenetic modifications have been suggested as possible mechanisms by which obesity develops due to air pollution. In this review, we summarize and review previous epidemiologic studies linking air pollution and childhood obesity and discuss the possible mechanisms underlying air pollution-induced obesity based on in vivo and in vitro evidence.
Keywords: Air pollution; Particulate matter; Pediatric obesity.