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Air pollution effects on childhood weight

In 2020, international researchers found that being exposed as a child to various indoor pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide is linked to child obesity.7

The results of a study published in Pediatric Obesity in 2017 showed that in the first six months of their lives, babies living in heavily-polluted areas outpaced the weights of babies surrounded by cleaner air.8

Kids born in areas with high levels of pollutants were nearly two and a half times likelier to be considered obese.

Air pollution leading to obesity might even start in the womb. The atmospheric air quality that a group of women were individually exposed to while pregnant was monitored and measured, as were their resulting children during the first seven years of their lives. The kids born in areas with high levels of pollutants were nearly two and a half times likelier to be considered obese even taking into account other factors like diet and income.9

The takeaway

To help decrease your exposure to air pollutants, and reach your goal of a healthier lifestyle: 

  • monitor indoor and outdoor air quality
  • if air quality is poor indoors, a high-efficiency air purifier might be necessary
  • choose a gym that incorporates air cleaning technology
  • limit all outdoor activities, not just exercise, when air quality is poor 
  • if outdoor activities are unavoidable on days with poor air quality, wear a high-quality mask
     

ABOUT IQAIR

IQAir is a Swiss-based air quality technology company empowering individuals, organizations and communities to breathe clean air through information and collaboration. Since its founding in 1963, IQAir has been a global leader and operates in more than 100 countries worldwide.