Huge breakthrough: Scientists find out why fat people can’t lose weight

Huge breakthrough: Scientists find out why fat people can’t lose weight

A groundbreaking new finding by scientists examining mice could have massive implications for fighting obesity.

Cell Press has just published an incredible new study that may explain why your New Year’s resolution to shed those unwanted pounds may be doomed from the start, or at least very difficult to accomplish. Researchers examined overweight mice and found that their brains actually encouraged inactivity, something that could explain why humans are just less motivated to conduct the exercise necessary to lose weight, and thus resulting in a vicious cycle for those hoping to get back into healthy shape.

The study examined why people or animals with obesity were usually less active than those at a healthy weight. Previously, it had been hypothesized that obese animals avoided movement because it was disabling physically to carry that extra weight, but the root of the problem might be in their brains, and specifically the chemical dopamine.

Scientists separated mice into two groups, feed one group a normal diet and the other a high-fat diet. Interestingly, mice on the high-fat diet slowed down their activity even before putting on the pounds, indicating it’s not the weight itself that results in inactivity but something that a high-fat diet is doing to our brains.

“We know that physical activity is linked to overall good health, but not much is known about why people or animals with obesity are less active,” says the study’s senior author Alexxai V. Kravitz, an investigator in the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases–part of the National Institutes of Health. “There’s a common belief that obese animals don’t move as much because carrying extra body weight is physically disabling. But our findings suggest that assumption doesn’t explain the whole story.”

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