Brain could react against weight loss

24th June 2011

Obese people who have considered enquiring about gastric bypass surgery may be interested to hear the findings of a new study, which showed that the brain can resist weight loss.

A researcher at the University of Illinois found that obese people attempting to shed pounds have to tailor their weight loss efforts to "outsmart" the chemistry of the brain.

Professor Gregory G Freund, who undertook the study, said: "When obese people reduce their food intake too drastically, their bodies appear to resist their weight loss efforts. They may have to work harder and go slower to outsmart their brain chemistry. Take smaller steps to start your weight loss and keep it going."

During the study, Professor Freund compared the effect of short-term fasts on two groups of mice, one of which had been on a low-fat diet and the other on a high-fat diet which caused obesity.

It was found that the obese mice lost a smaller percentage of their body weight through fasting than their lighter counterparts.

The professor said this showed an immune component to weight loss, which had not been recognised before.

Almost one in four adults in the UK are classed as obese, as well as one in ten children.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

1. Freund, Gregory. " Fasting Induces an Anti-Inflammatory Effect on the Neuroimmune System Which a High-Fat Diet Prevents." Obesity. April 2011.

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