Obesity May Be Mostly In Your Head

December 15, 2008

UK (ChattahBox) – A new medical study published in Nature Genetics shows that obesity may partially be a genetic problem with the brain.

The study was conducted by deCODE Genetics, a Iceland based researching company, on seven separate gene problems and show that a contributing factor of obesity may be directly related to how the mind controls appetite, rather then past theories that it is largely due to problems with the metabolism.

This seems to suggest that while genetic factors in the bodies natural ability to burn calories and fat may be a small portion of the problem, a larger one may be a person’s ability to control their eating habits. While these variants that cause the behavior are not a cause of obesity themselves, it was found that people with all seven were found to be much more likely to be overweight.

“This suggests that as we work to develop better means of combating obesity, we need to focus on the regulation of appetite at least as much as on the metabolic factors of how the body uses and stores energy,” explained deCODE Genetics researcher Dr Kari Stefansson.

While several research groups are citing this as an important step in explaining the current obesity epidemic, not everyone agrees.

“It suggests that some people may be less able than others to resist the temptation to overeat because of their genetic background and it might start to explain why some people have no problem keeping their weight down whilst others struggle,” said Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation.
“However, this cannot be the explanation for the current epidemic of obesity since these genes have been present for centuries and the obesity epidemic is a relatively new phenomenon.”
Obesity is becoming one of the biggest health concerns in the world, with the epidemic spreading globally over the past 30 years.


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