I HAVE HEARD ABOUT SOME NEW MEDICAL RESEARCH TO DO WITH GENETIC CONTROL OF WEIGHT LOSS?
Yes indeed. There has been some very exciting genetic in this area. The ground-breaking work has been led by teams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School, with the most important academic publication being in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2015 (link here).
The research has shown that our fat cells can use excess calories (energy) to create heat (thermogenesis) OR to store fat (causing obesity). More crucially it has been found that these cells can be controlled by setting the genetic switch that determines whether they burn or store excess energy. Research on mice and on human fat cells is promising indeed.
It is important to know that any form of medication or treatment remains years away. It is also unclear if any such treatment would be safe or free of side effects. This is cutting-edge work and the results are not yet known. It is also clear that avoiding excess calories (eating better) and being active remain crucial for optimal health, regardless of what this new work may lead to.
In short then, yes, some very exciting new research. However there is actually a real danger that this new research may cause people to abandon healthy living approaches while waiting for some “magic treatment” that may never arrive – this would be disastrous. For now and the foreseeable future, we need to be cautious and we need to stick with mainstream advice to eat better and move more!