Obesity may cause the body to have trouble deciding when to stop eating, according to a study conducted at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) and published in "Cell Metabolism." Researchers found that obese mice became desensitized to a hormone that controls appetite.
• Scientists divided mice into two groups, and fed them either a high-fat or low-fat diet. The high-fat mice became obese and developed symptoms of diabetes.
• The obese mice's bodies became resistant to the hormone leptin, which is secreted by fat cells. Leptin is known to be critical in the regulation of energy intake (including appetite) and energy expenditure.
• The results suggest that obese mammals may actually have trouble knowing when stop eating.
• When the obese mice were placed on a low-fat diet and regained a healthy body weight, their body's sensitivity to leptin and healthy appetite regulation were restored.
• The United States has the highest rates of obesity in the First World, with an estimated 60 percent of adults overweight and 30 percent of adults obese. Obesity has been strongly linked to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, as well as other cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory and psychological disorders.
• Quote: "This research demonstrates how a portion of the hypothalamus of the brain ... is negatively impacted by an overabundance of leptin. ... Eventually the cells behaved as if there was no leptin present, even though levels were 40 times higher than in normal animals." - Michael Cowley, associate scientist at ONPRC's Division of Neuroscience
• I am strongly opposed to using animals for medical research, including research on obesity. Most of this research is geared towards creating a blockbuster pharmaceutical, not helping people live healthier lives. In most animal research, conscious mammals are being tortured and destroyed in an effort to make more money by inventing yet more drugs to sell to consumers.
• The answer to obesity is already well known. Avoid all processed foods and dairy products. Exercise regularly and eat a low-glycemic diet high in fresh produce, unrefined plant-based oils and phytonutrients. The causes of obesity are not a mystery. The real mystery is why people keep buying and eating junk foods and sugary sodas when they know the detrimental health effects of doing so.