Obesity is emerging as the big killer in Asian countries as well after overpowering the developed world. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 300 million of them clinically obese. And what is alarming is that per latest research the desire to overeat in overweight people is controlled by the same part of the brain that controls cravings for drugs in addicts. Apparently, compulsive eating is regulated by emotional centres in the brain, which leads people to resort to overeating as a means of comfort.
Per the research exercise, a group of seven volunteers were implanted with gastric stimulators for close to two years. Each volunteer was placed in a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and brain activity measured when the gastric stimulator was on and then off. Each volunteer was also asked to answer questions that measured three different aspects of eating behaviour—personal restraint, uncontrolled eating and emotional eating. The information was then used to correlate which type of eating behaviour was linked to which part of the brain.
Meanwhile, in encouraging news, scientists have identified a molecule responsible for making mammals feel full. This will surely give an impetus to new ways to treat obesity in humans. Rats were injected with the molecule (nesfatin-1) and subsequently they ate less and lost weight. Moreover, after anti-nesfatin-1 antibody was injected in the rats they showed increased appetite as well as an increase in body weight. With a billion overweight adults globally, this research may just pave the way for treating obesity.
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