Journal of Community Medicine & Public Health (ISSN: 2577-2228)

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Pesticides and Risk of Obesity and Diabetes

Marysia Grzybowski1*, Walter Pories2

1Department of Public, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA

2Founding Chair of the Department of Surgery at East Carolina University, Department of Surgery, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA

*Corresponding author: Marysia Grzybowski, Department of Public, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA. Tel: +12527445357; Email: GRZYBOWSKIM@ECU.EDU

Received Date: 29 March, 2018; Accepted Date: 29 March, 2018; Published Date: 05 April, 2018

Citation: Grzybowski M, Pories W (2018) Pesticides and Risk of Obesity and Diabetes. J Community Med Public Health 2: 131. DOI: 10.29011/2577-2228.100031

Objective: This study seeks to examine current research evidence and literature linking pesticide exposure with obesity and diabetes.

Study Design and Setting: The review presented here summarizes research studies regarding the association between pesticides and obesity, including diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Published literature was reviewed between 1996 and 2015. Studies highlighting investigations examining the potential association between pesticides and the outcomes of interest were included.

Results: Although this is not a meta-analysis, a summary of research finding that showed the most studies investigating an association between pesticides and obesity and/or diabetes are presented.  Overall, many of the studies demonstrate a positive correlation between pesticide exposure and key measures of these two health conditions (Body Mass Index, Weight, Glycated Hemoglobin (Hemoglobin A1c), Blood Glucose Levels, And Serum Insulin Levels). Likewise, inherent complexities of pesticide chemicals and the multifactorial nature of obesity and diabetes further limit study conclusions.

Conclusions: Literature supports a potential positive association between pesticide exposure and obesity and/or diabetes. However, mechanisms accounting for such an association have yet to be defined, and notable gaps exist in assessing the extent to which an association may exist. In this regard, evidence supports further research to better define these areas.

Keywords:  Diabetes; Metabolic Syndrome; Obesity; Pesticides


OP           :               Organophosphate pesticides

OC          :               Organ chlorine pesticides

POPs       :               Persistent organic pollutants

BMI       :               Body Mass Index

MB         :               Methanobacteriales

DDT       :               Dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane

DDE       :               Dichloro diphenyl dichloroethylene

PCBs      :               Polychlorinated biphenyls

AHS       :               Agricultural Health Study



What is new? An updated review summary of current literature examines the associations between pesticide exposures and two health conditions, obesity and diabetes.

Key findings: Majority of studies available support a potential association between pesticide exposure with the development of obesity and/or diabetes. However, research has significant gaps and limitations in defining mechanisms or causation and extent of an association.

Added knowledge: Current literature suggests pesticide exposure could play a role in the development of obesity and/or diabetes. Multiple theories of causation exist, including endocrine, metabolic, immune and neurotransmitter theories, but none have been validated to date.

Implications: Literature review supports further research in these areas to better define mechanism of causation and degree of risk between pesticide exposure with obesity and/or diabetes development.


Table 1: Summarizes our findings.

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