DailyDirt: Jack Sprat Could Eat No Fat…

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There is an endless stream of dieting advice out there, telling people what to eat or what not to eat — making it sound like there are simple magic bullet solutions to losing weight and getting healthier. (The really simple solution is to eat less and exercise more, but that’s usually easier said than done for most people.) There have been diets telling people to avoid all carbs or all fats, and sometimes those diets work for people, but that’s just anecdotal evidence. Maybe someday we’ll have more medically sound data to support/refute these trendy diet fads.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Jack Sprat Could Eat No Fat…”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Some serious obesity researchers are planning to study the biological causes of obesity over the next 5-6 years.

What’s there to study? The biological cause of obesity is saving up for the next famine, and we’ve been selectively breeding it into the gene pool as a positive trait for thousands of years. It’s only become a problem with the rise of industrial-scale agriculture.

Science Daily says:

Newly discovered!!!


Over the past 20 years, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) neuroendocrinologist Bradford Lowell, MD, PhD, has been untangling the complicated jumble of neurocircuits in the brain that underlie hunger, working to create a wiring diagram to explain the origins of this intense motivational state. Key among his findings has been the discovery that Agouti-peptide (AgRP) expressing neurons ? a group of nerve cells in the brain?s hypothalamus ? are activated by caloric deficiency, and when either naturally or artificially stimulated in animal models, will cause mice to eat voraciously after conducting a relentless search for food.

Now, in a new study published on-line this week in the journal Nature, Lowell?s lab has made the surprising discovery that the hunger-inducing neurons that activate these AgRP neurons are located in the paraventricular nucleus — a brain region long thought to cause satiety, or feelings of fullness. This unexpected finding not only provides a critical addition to the overall wiring diagram, but adds an important extension to our understanding of what drives appetite.

?Our goal is to understand how the brain controls hunger,? explains Lowell, an investigator in BIDMC?s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. ?Abnormal hunger can lead to obesity and eating disorders, but in order to understand what might be wrong ? and how to treat it ? you first need to know how it works. Otherwise, it?s like trying to fix a car without knowing how the engine operates.?

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