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Scientists have discovered a protein that activates brown fat (pictured) in mice (Image: T...

For most of us fighting the battle of the bulge, fat is an enemy that must be reigned in to a healthier – and less noticeable – level. But there are actually two types of fat – or adipose tissue – found in mammals, white and brown. While white fat stores calories and is the culprit behind love handles, brown fat’s primary function is to generate heat to keep the body warm through the burning of fats in a process known as thermogenesis. Therefore, the ability to activate brown fat in the body could provide a means to fight obesity and keep the weight off. Now scientists have discovered a protein that could allow them to do just that.  Read More

Specially-treated fat cells may one day lead to weight loss

Though it's long been known that there are two forms of fat or adipose tissue, white, which stores calories, and brown, which burns them for energy and warmth, figuring out how to safely create more of the desirable brown type has remained elusive. In an ideal world, there'd simply be a switch one could flip to convert white fat into brown and obesity would eventually become a thing of the past. Now, UC San Francisco (UCSF) Diabetes Center brown fat researcher Shingo Kajimura and his team have made a discovery that leads them to believe they've found that switch and one day, it just may lead to the long-sought solution for human obesity.  Read More

eButton is a prototype device that tracks the caloric value of users' meals, along with th...

Are you trying to lose weight, but don't like keeping track of your food intake? Well, there may or may not be an app for that, but there is a button. An eButton, to be precise. That's the name of a wearable device developed at the University of Pittsburgh, that incorporates a camera, accelerometer, GPS, and other sensors. These all work together to maintain a profile of not only what the user is eating, but also how much exercise they're getting, how much time they spend sitting around, and other factors that can affect weight gain.  Read More

The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System and iHealth Scale allow users to measure and ...

For many people, a key part of their personal health management routine involves monitoring their blood pressure and weight. Frequently going to get one’s blood pressure measured at a pharmacy or clinic, however, can be a hassle. Well, to paraphrase an advertising slogan, “there’s an app for that” – along with a device. The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad consists of a blood pressure arm cuff wired to a portable dock, along with the free iHealth app, which users run on their chosen iDevice to keep track of their systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. They will also soon be able to throw their weight data into the mix, with the iHealth Scale.  Read More

The Bite Counter is worn on the wrist and counts the number of bites the wearer takes

Pedometers can be a great motivational tool for people looking to shed a few pounds by getting active. But since cutting the calorie intake is also an important factor in trimming down researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina have created a device that acts like a pedometer for eating. The Bite Counter is worn like a watch and tracks how many mouthfuls the wearer takes to sound an alarm when they reach for one handful of chips too many.  Read More

LipoControl is a new system designed to reshape the body using laser technology

A new advancement in laser therapy has recently received the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may become the latest tool in removing unwanted fat cells. Osyris Medical has created the LipoControl system for laser-assisted lipolysis – the breakdown of body fats. However, unlike Coolsculpting, LipoControl does not bypass the need for invasive surgery. The system has been specifically designed for use in the operating room, along with laser lipolysis procedures. Unlike common liposuction units, this device is used to accurately zap unwanted fat cells using a laser, which then allows for an easier and cleaner suction out.  Read More

Ryo Yamamoto has repurposed Wii's Balance Board, to create a Diet Chair

Here's a very clever hack of a Wii Balance Board from engineer Ryo Yamamoto that was on display at Tokyo Make Meeting 06 this past weekend. Mr. Yamamoto's "Diet Chair" is essentially just a regular chair, but with a Wii Balance Board sitting underneath the seat. What's smart about this is that it allows the chair to send feedback to the computer where the user's weight can be monitored over time.  Read More

The Body Volume Index uses a 3D scanning process to analyze fat distribution

Currently, if healthcare practitioners are trying to determine how overweight a patient is, they use the Body Mass Index, or BMI. Invented in the mid-1800s, the BMI is an international standard formula for establishing ideal body weight which involves dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height. A group of international researchers, however, are proposing that the BMI be replaced with a more detailed system, the Body Volume Index, or BVI. Using a 3D white-light scanner, the BVI identifies where the fat is distributed on a patient’s body, and how that compares to what’s normal.  Read More

Coolsculpting removes fat cells through targeted cooling

Medical device company ZELTIQ has developed a safe procedure to deliver clinically proven results that could potentially say goodbye to “love handles”. Developed at the Wellman Center of Photomedecine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Coolsculpting is a method that freezes unwanted fat cells and removes them permanently without invasive surgery. After a series of clinical trials and evidence from ultrasound and histological results, Coolsculpting has recently been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is targeted for those who are not considered to be clinically overweight but may carry pockets of unwanted fat in areas of their body which have not responded to diet or exercise.  Read More

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