Early exposure to air pollution from vehicles increases the risk of children being obese, finding new research.
The high levels of nitrogen dioxide, which emit diesel engines, the first year of life have led to a faster weight gain, scientists have discovered. Other pollutants produced by road traffic have also been linked to obesity in children by recent studies.
Pollution with nitrogen dioxide is at illegal levels in most urban areas of the United Kingdom and the government has lost three times in the high court for insufficient plans.
The pollutant also assaults many cities in Europe and around the world.
"Let's ask parents to be aware that their little children spend time, especially considering whether those areas are close to the main avenues," said Jeniffer Kim of the University of Southern California, who led the new investigation. "The first year of life is a period of rapid development of various systems in the body [and] It can improve the future development of the body. "
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed last Monday that 90% of children in the world are breathing in insecure air, a situation described as "inexcusable" by the head of the WHO.
Concern for the impact of toxic air on children's health is growing as research reveals serious long-term damage to both their physical and mental health.
A large recent study found that toxic air significantly increases the risk of low birth weight, which causes life-threatening harm. Others saw air pollution with birth defects, hip deaths, and the first direct evidence of contamination particles in the placentia of mothers was also revealed.
The new research, published in the journal Environmental Health, followed 2,318 children in southern California and was built in previous works that identified traffic contamination as an important risk factor for the development of obesity in children.
The research has investigated the impact of atmospheric pollution from the busy main roads, where diesel trucks are common in the crucial year of life. They found that up to the age of 10, children who had a high exposure early were almost 1 kg heavier than those who had low exposure.
Scientists have taken into account a number of other factors, including gender, ethnicity and parental education, and believe it is unlikely that variations in the diet may explain the strong foundness found.
"Our study suggests that the first life can represent a critical window of exposure where it increases [air pollution] It can create a greater risk for a childhood [weight] Trajectories, which in turn can lead to childhood obesity, "the researchers concluded.
Other pollutants emitted by vehicles were also related to childhood obesity. A 2017 study in Boston involved particle contamination, while a 2012 study in New York found the same for children exposed to polaromatic hydrocarbons while they were in the belly. The new research was not able to examine how air pollution increases the weight gain in children, but Kim said inflammation was a possibility: "The most common thought is the inflammation of body systems and the lungs that can spill into the whole body – the brain that regulates the appetite and the changes in the metabolism of the fat ".
"This study, which shows an association between increased body mass in children and the exposure to atmospheric pollution of roads, is important as it is compatible with previous studies that show an association between type 2 diabetes and air pollution in adults," said Professor Jonathan Grigg, at the Queen Mary University of London and not involved in the investigation.
"However, we must look for more research to explain how inhaled toxins in the lungs affect the fat cells throughout the body," he said. In experiments with mice, cerebral inflammation caused by air pollution has shown that it causes excess food induced by anxiety.
A new and separate study on asthma, a long-term disease linked to air pollution and which is the most common chronic respiratory disease in the world, estimated that between emergency visits of 9m and 33m to the hospital they are dirty air each year.
The higher estimate represents almost a third of all emergency admissions incurred by the 358 million asthma sufferers in the world. "The results calculate the magnitude of the burden of global asthma that could be avoided by reducing [outdoor] Air pollution, "scientists said.