Human body has internal mechanism to regulate diet: research

A team of scientists has identified an internal body weight-sensing system that operates like bathroom scales signalling our body to cut down food intake when our weight increases beyond a certain point.

According to commentators, the human body has evolved over generations as it adapted to some of the harshest external conditions. But, with societies becoming less dependent on physical labour, the human body has not been able to adapt to the sedentary lifestyle quickly enough, which has led to a plethora of health problems including the global obesity crisis.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden have found that our body has a system which regulates weight gain by calculating body weight and fat mass much like the bathroom scales.

They believe that, with further study of the system, a better understanding of the causes of obesity could be gained which could help develop new anti-obesity treatments.

The study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also revealed that, the mechanism that the researchers had identified regulates body fat mass independently of leptin, and it's possible that leptin combined with activation of the internal body scales can become an effective treatment for obesity, according to professor Claes Ohlsson.

The discovery was made as researchers studied obesity in rats using artificial weights to make them heavier. After the rats carried their extra weight around for weeks, they displayed reduced appetite and biological fat mass.

The team found an increase in glucose tolerance in these obese rodents, with the animals losing almost as much weight as the artificial load. Body fat decreased due to the extra weights and blood glucose levels improved.

According to the researchers, it might not be excessive eating or body fat that leads to obesity, rather, real culprit is sedentariness, which might prevent the brain from receiving the warning signals from the internal mechanism.