The University of Michigan has received a $1.4 million, three-year grant to study the effects of prenatal exposure to certain toxins.
The Ann Arbor school is opening a center in Detroit to conduct the research.
The grant to the School of Public Health aims to see if a pregnant woman's exposure to obesogens contributes to child obesity or change the timing of puberty.
The study will track data on the effects of the toxins on the same children from birth into adolescence.
Lead investigator Karen Peterson says the long-term approach is vital to discovering how obesogens affect the risk of a child developing obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases later in life.