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November 20, 2011

New Resarch on the Obesity Epedemic


Obesity (and complications such as diabetes and heart / circulation problems) is quickly moving into the position as the leading causes of lifestyle related illnesses and health care expenditure. 

The old "calories in vs. calories out" model of thinking about weight management has steadily been undermined by new  research, indicating that weight management is a much more complicated matter. It is no longer a scientifically defendable that for everyone, weight control is a simple matter of just eating less and exercising more.

Spurred on by the escalating health care costs related to the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, increased funding has been allocated to try to increase our understanding and more effectively treat and prevent them. 
One study in the journal Cell Metabolism outlines how one of the body's own calorie intake balancing mechanisms located in this case in the area of the brain called the hypothalamus can be reduced in its ability to communicate and control  Most recently a research team headed by Kim Loh from Monash University in Australia, found that elevated levels of a compound named TCPTP (tyrosine phosphatase) reduced the hypothalamus' sensitivity to leptin (a neurotransmitter secreted by fat tissues). 
This now opens another door through which it is possible to combat the obesity epidemic.