Brain mechanisms 'link foods to rising obesity rates'

   Feb 8, 11:48 am

Washington, Feb 8 (ANI): In a new study, scientists have shed light on the biological factors contributing to rising rates of obesity and have discussed strategies to reduce body weight.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about one-third of U.S. adults are obese, a number that continues to climb.

"While we don't usually think of it this way, body weight is regulated. How much we weigh is influenced by a number of biological systems, and this is part of what makes it so hard for people to lose weight and keep it off," Randy Seeley from Donald C. Harrison Endowed Chair, said.

"To understand the obesity epidemic, we must figure out how our environment alters these biological systems to encourage weight gain," Seeley said.

According to Seeley, a big part of the environment that encourages weight gain is the availability and consumption of calorically dense, high-fat foods in particular, what we eat can alter the brain regions that regulate body weight.

"Leptin is a key hormone that is secreted from fat tissue, or adipose tissue, and its main function is to inhibit appetite.

"Via a number of molecular mechanisms, eating a high-fat diet reduces the actions of leptin in the brain. This miscommunication can lead to increased food intake and weight gain.

"Evolutionary speaking, we are designed to want to eat foods that are high in fat and gain weight because it made it easier to survive times when food was not available.

"However, that is no longer a real concern since food is almost always available, but we still have a biological desire to eat these calorically dense foods. So, how do we intervene and change this drive?" he said.

He also said that says there are several key points in successful therapeutic interventions for the population facing social, financial and health consequences of obesity.

"The key issue is to find ways to take these biological systems that usually make it hard to lose weight and make them work for us to so that it is easier for obese individuals to lose weight.

"As we understand the molecular interaction between what we eat and these brain circuits that regulate our body weight, we can design interventions that reduce the body weight that our bodies defend.

"This will mean that people trying to lose weight would be able to work with their biology rather than trying to use will power to overcome their biology that pushes them back to their obese state. Such an endeavour will ultimately require a wide range of scientists from different fields to reduce both the human and monetary costs of the obesity epidemic," he added.

The study has been published in the journal Cell Metabolism. (ANI)

Now, biodegradable plastic to be made from rice, parsley waste Aug 21, 3:44 pm
Washington, August 21 (ANI): A new study has shown that it may soon be possible to make chairs, synthetic rugs and plastic bags from cocoa, rice and vegetable waste.
Full Story
Internet-savvy mums trust each other over marketing choices Aug 21, 1:45 pm
Melbourne, Aug 21 (ANI): A new study has suggested that mothers who are active on internet trust other mothers and also influence their buying habits.
Full Story
First LOFAR observations of the "Whirlpool Galaxy" made by European astronomers Aug 21, 1:07 pm
Southampton (UK), Aug 21 (ANI): Using a radio telescope with frequencies just above those of commercial FM radio stations, a European team of astronomers has obtained the most sensitive image of a galaxy below 1 GHz.
Full Story
Blocking 'chili pepper receptors' may be panacea for pain Aug 21, 1:07 pm
Washington, Aug 21 (ANI): Scientists have revealed that blocking the receptor that reacts to chili and pepper, could relieve one off pain.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY