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Obesity

Researchers from the University of Bonn have treated mice with Viagra and discovered that the drug converts white fat cells (those unwanted denizens of the belly and similar swollen regions) into beige fat cells. Instead of storing excess energy, these recently discovered beige fat cells burn the energy from ingested food and convert it to heat. Viagra also appears (at least in mice) to decrease the risk of other complications caused by obesity. Read More

Thrifty Samoans looking to take a trip may want to shed a few pounds before booking a flight with Samoan Air after the airline announced the implementation of a “pay as you weigh” system. Read More

Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Institute have found that amlexanox, an off-patent drug used to treat asthma and canker sores, can also reduce obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease in mice. Read More

There's good news and bad news in the fight against morbid obesity. The good news is that there is a new approach to surgical weight-loss which is far less invasive than conventional operations. The bad news is how it works. Read More
With recent studies finding that – for the first time – more people now die from obesity-related illnesses like heart attacks and strokes than malnutrition, scientists have been tackling the fat problem. One of the latest breakthroughs in this field comes from the University of Indiana where researchers have found that combining two hormones into a single molecule could lead to improved treatments for medical conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Read More
You might think that your feeling of satiation when eating is due simply to your stomach filling up. According to the Hirose Tanikawa Group at the University of Tokyo, however, the visual perception of food also has something to do with it – the greater the amount of food that a person sees that they’re eating, the sooner they feel full. With that in mind, the team has created a prototype dieting system that uses augmented reality to trick people into thinking their food items are larger than they actually are. Read More
According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 347 million diabetics worldwide, with 90 percent of those people having type II diabetes specifically. It occurs when fat accumulates in places such as muscles, blood vessels and the heart, causing the cells in those areas to no longer be sufficiently responsive to insulin. This insulin resistance, in turn, causes blood glucose levels to rise to dangerous levels. Ultimately, it can result in things such as heart disease, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. Fortunately, however, an international team of scientists has just announced a new way of treating the disease. Read More
We’ve seen a number of encouraging developments in recent times related to research into turning calorie-storing white fat cells into heat-generating brown fat cells as a potential weapon in the fight against obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes. The latest news comes out of Ohio State University where researchers have reduced the amount of belly fat in mice by 20 percent by injecting a tiny capsule containing brown fat cells into their abdomens. Read More
Earlier this year, a team from UC San Francisco reported on the discovery that a class of commonly prescribed type-2 diabetes drugs, called TZDs (thiazolidinediones, such as Actos and Avandia), promoted the conversion of energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells. Now researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified the mechanism that causes this change to take place, potentially leading to new techniques to treat obesity and type-2 diabetes. Read More
The existence of two different types of fat – or adipose tissue – in mammals has long been known: white fat, which stores calories and in excess results in obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories to generate energy and heat. Now scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have confirmed the existence of a third, genetically distinct type of fat called “beige fat,” which they say is a potential therapeutic target for treating obesity. Read More
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