Posted on Nov 03, 2012 | Comments 0
A study was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, stating that the longer a person remained obese, the more irreversible the condition became.
To prove this point, experiments were conducted on mice by researchers at the University of Michigan.
Obesity is a state of being overweight and affects a huge number of people today. About 500 million adults and more than 43 million children are known to be affected by this physiological condition that is the leading cause of many dreaded ailments such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Studying Obesity in Mice
According to the researchers in this study, obesity is self-perpetuating. Early intervention is the key to controlling and reversing obesity. Efforts to fight obesity in the advanced stages will show marginal changes and the body tends to go back to its obese state.
The lead author of the study Dr. Viviana F. Bumaschny and her team designed an animal model where experiments on mice gave the reasons for difficulty in controlling obesity through diet and exercise among highly obese adults. The following are the highlights of the lab study:
- This model had obese mice which were tracked for weight loss at various ages and stages of the study showing the effect of a genetic switch that controls hunger.
- Turning this switch on in young mice, soon after their weaning, was found to reduce overeating and prevented them from becoming obese.
- Another set of mice which were healthy and maintained a normal weight in adolescence through strict diet control were also able to maintain their normal weight even after turning the genetic switch on.
- But those mice that were overfed during childhood experienced early onset of obesity. They never returned to normal weight despite flipping the switch in addition to increased activity and reduced food intake.
Through this experiment, scientists could prove that if obesity is not dealt with during its onset and is allowed to continue, then the body’s genetic switch shifts and re-adjusts itself to the heavier body weight of the individual. Thus one of the long term effects of obesity is probably its irreversible nature, the repercussions of which are yet to be fully established.
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