Ricochet News

New pill could cure obesity

APRIL 1, 2015
New pill could cure obesity

It’s not an April fool’s day gag but Obesity could be  a thing of the past; Type 2 diabetes a distant memory and strokes rare if a tests on a new pill - that is designed from your very own DNA to not only help you shed unwanted weight, but could actually prevent you from packing them on in the first place, succeeds.

Research has shown that obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 – and almost 40 percent of adults everywhere are overweight or obese. No wonder why the weight loss industry, with its quick fixes and empty promises, is still a lucrative business – and is actually expected to be worth US$320 billion by 2017.

In laboratories around the world, research teams are reportedly battling each other to create a ‘cure’ for obesity.

Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have found a way to stop fat from developing at its earliest stages while scientists from Houston Methodist Research Institute have discovered a drug that could be a weight-loss miracle.

Researchers in Qatar also believe that they may have found a way to extract a personalised weight loss programme from the very building blocks of our bodies. How it all works is all about White Fat and Brown Fat.

Good fat, bad fat

According to the researchers, White Fat is the bad kind. It’s big, it stores energy, and when you’ve got too much around the middle it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and bunch of other metabolic diseases.

Brown Fat on the other hand, is always at work. It’s compact and burns energy even when you’re standing still. We’re born with a fair amount of brown fat, but it disappears as we get older. Thin adults have more brown fat than their overweight counterparts, and they’re healthier for it.

The solution

So if you can stop white fat from developing, or find a way to turn white fat into brown… then you’re well on the way to curing obesity.

But where does all this research lead us, if one day a magic pill for obesity really does exist? Can I therefore eat donuts all day every day, and still be classed as 'healthy'? Unfortunately it’s not quite so simple.

It is possible to be a normal weight, but metabolically obese. Eating a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates will still put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

In some ways being 'skinny fat' is worse - adults with a normal Body Mass Index and who have diabetes are twice at risk of death. The fat which wraps itself around our organs and is stored in the belly area – called visceral fat – plays a particularly dangerous role as it can lead to glucose intolerance.

Even skinny people can have bellies. So being a normal weight is a good thing, but it’s important we have a decent ratio of muscle to fat to ensure healthy levels of cholesterol, insulin resistance and fatty acids.

So step away from the chocolate, and back on the treadmill. It seems there really is no substitute for good old diet and exercise – the pill will just make starting your healthy lifestyle journey a little bit easier.