The report below was first published in Aug 2017 and again the subject has become prominent news recently with Australian scientists having discovered how to ‘turn on’ the part of the brain that controls how our bodies burn fat, and ‘turn off’ the chemical that makes us feel hunger after a crash diet (experimentally with mice).
However I have a problem with this “discovery”.
So what happens if they do develop a mechanism for us humans to allow the fat “burn/save” switch to remain on burn. Will this in turn then allow the yo-yo dieter, the disordered obsessive eater, or those who continually make poor food choices to present a slim and happy persona on the outside, but chronically ill on the inside?
Will the mantra be “I look great AND I can still eat all the high calorie, sugary and energy dense foods I like – yahoo!!” What about nutritional education and mindful eating?
It may give the appearance of battling obesity but surely this is only promoting form over function and avoiding the real issue of making good food choices. Looking good in the mirror while still putting your health at risk by eating crap.
What do you think?
TC- Towards a Non-obsessive Way of Eating Company
Scientists have found the brain’s “on switch” for burning fat.
The discovery could lead to a huge breakthrough in treating obesity, which is reaching epidemic levels.
The new study helps solve the puzzle of how the body chooses to burn or store fat, and how it makes use of the energy from food that people eat.
They found that when a person eats, the body responds by circulating insulin. The brain then sends out signals to encourage the browning of fat, so that it can expend energy.
Likewise, when someone is not eating or is fasting, the brain sends instructions to the special cells known as adipocytes telling them to turn fat white. That helps store the energy when people aren’t eating, and makes sure that a person’s body weight stays stable.
That complex process is controlled by a switch-like mechanism in the brain. It switches itself off and on according to whether a person has eaten, and helps regulate how the body uses fat.
But in obese people, the switch doesn’t seem to work properly – it gets stuck in the on position. When people eat, it doesn’t turn to off – and so energy isn’t expended.
Now the scientists hope they can manipulate the switch, turning it off and on to help people better control how their body deals with fat.
“Obesity is a major and leading factor in overall disease burden worldwide and is poised, for the first time in modern history, to lead to falls in overall life expectancy,” Mr Tiganis said in a statement.
“What our studies have shown is that there is a fundamental mechanism at play that normally ensures that energy expenditure is matched with energy intake. When this is defective, you put on more weight. Potentially we may be able to rewire this mechanism to promote energy expenditure and weight loss in obese individuals. But any potential therapy is a long way off,” he said.