In January 2019 researchers from Spain and the UK published the results of their study to assess whether exposure to air pollution at home or school was associated with overweight and obesity in 2,660 school children, aged 7-10 years. The child’s weight and height were measured, and age- and sex-specific BMI calculated. Home levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (<2.5 μm, <10 μm and coarse) were estimated, together with school playground levels of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter <2.5 μm, elemental carbon, and ultrafine particles. Results showed that an increase in particulate matter (5.6 μg/m3) in the home was associated with a 10% increase in the odds of being overweight or obese. In addition, children exposed to the highest exposure of ultrafine particles in the school playground appeared to have a 30% higher chance of being overweight or obese when compared with the lowest exposure. A medium exposure of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter <2.5 μm, elemental carbon, and ultrafine particles was also associated with increased odds of being overweight or obese when compared to low levels of exposure.
de Bont J et al. Ambient air pollution and overweight and obesity in school-aged children in Barcelona, Spain. Environ Int. 2019 Jan 28;125:58-64