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Obesity Triggered by Brain Switch
Obesity Triggered by Brain Switch

A new study has discovered that the way we control and regulate hunger may be malfunctioning in some people. WLR guest writer, Cara Frost-Sharratt investigates how obesity and control of hunger can be linked to a little switch in our brains.

Obesity Triggered by Brain Switch

By WLR Guest Writer, Cara Frost-Sharratt

New research has revealed that a little ‘switch’ in the brain could be held partly responsible for some cases of obesity.

As with any type of wiring, sometimes there is a malfunction and this seems to be the case here. Instead of performing its normal function and sending a signal to the brain to say that the body has had enough food, it tells it to carry on eating and store the excess calories as fat.

Scientists discovered the protein complex that is the cause of the misinformation in a section of the brain called the hypothalamus. It is responsible for a number of processes in the body including the regulation of hunger. It therefore makes sense that any problems here are going to have direct consequences for weight control.

WLR says . . .

This news could receive a mixed response from people with weight issues. Whilst it might be reassuring to learn that there’s a medical explanation for certain cases of overeating, it will be hard to use will power alone to battle against a dodgy ‘switch’.

Control Hunger Pangs

It could also lead to a precedent being set for many more weight problems being attributed to this condition than actually should be. Most of us have experienced instances where we keep eating without actually needing more food. This seems to be most prolific when it comes time to order dessert in a restaurant.

In these instances, there is absolutely no calorific requirement for that gooey chocolate fondant but you’ve just seen the waiter present one to the person sitting at the next table and you convince yourself you can squeeze it in. However, this is usually more to do with a temporary case of gluttony than any requirement for rewiring in the brain.

Help to Control Your Hunger

However, there may be some help at hand. Drugs could be developed which would effectively override the switch, therefore sending the correct signals to the brain. If this is the case then it will be easier to deal with the problem of overeating and obesity in cases where people do have this specific malfunction. If you can learn to listen to your body and curb eating once you’re full, there should be a natural drop in weight. Combine this with a change in diet and an exercise programme and you should start to see real results.

Obesity is becoming more prolific in many countries around the world, with the rise of childhood obesity, in particular, being great cause for concern. Early eating habits can shape your body and attitude to food for the rest of your life and it is certainly more difficult to deal with the problem later on. Therefore, any breakthrough in the fight against obesity should be heralded as a positive step.

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