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Weight Loss

— Robotics

MIT Media Lab births robotic weight loss coach

By - November 27, 2012 5 Pictures
While earning his PhD at the MIT Media Lab, Cory Kidd wanted to build a social robot that could have a place and function in the home. One of the potential applications was a lifestyle coach – a robot that you would interact with daily as you try to lose weight. Kidd built a prototype, recruited people for a study, and found that participants using the robot stuck to the weight loss program twice as long as those who used an identical program on a laptop – and that most felt that the robot was more credible than an animated character on the screen. Read More
— Science

Augmented reality system could be a boon to dieters

By - November 21, 2012 3 Pictures
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
— Health and Wellbeing

Capsule of heat-generating cells reduces abdominal fat in mice by 20%

By - September 6, 2012 1 Picture
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
— Health and Wellbeing

Newly-discovered “beige fat” cells provide a new target in the fight against obesity

By - July 12, 2012 1 Picture
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
— Science

Elevated levels of human hormone motivates mice to exercise

By - June 13, 2012 1 Picture
If listening to Eye of The Tiger at full bore isn’t enough to get you off your backside to blast those glutes and pump those biceps anymore, then drugs might be the answer. A team of Swiss researchers has discovered that raising the levels of the hormone erythropoietin (Epo) in the brains of mice resulted in the rodents being more motivated to exercise. The discovery provides the possibility of developing a pill that can motivate people to want to exercise. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Protein that stimulates brown fat could boost weight loss strategies

By - May 14, 2012 1 Picture
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
— Health and Wellbeing

Researchers discover how to fight fat ... with fat

By - March 8, 2012 3 Pictures
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
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