Experts have deemed obesity as a global epidemic, and even today, with many health initiatives and awareness programs, it seems to be spreading at a rather alarming rate. Reducing one’s consumption of fats, and having a good amount of physical activity in one’s schedule is the easiest and proven way of losing weight – however, despite how easy it may seem to simply state, it is clearly much harder to actually do.
The inherent problem lies in the human programming itself. After having worked hard, the body has the urge to eat more, which can counteract the work done in the exercise. Thus a person needs to fight back the urge to east, on top of partaking in difficult exercise. Biological urges are the cornerstone of a new study that is using hamsters as a means of understanding how the brain is influenced by sudden feelings and urges.
Hamsters are able to change their body to better fit their surrounding temperatures, and one of the characteristics of the Siberian Hamster is its ability to lose almost half of its body weight in times of low food availability, thus greatly reducing its need for food.
This can be linked directly with the human brain too – which feels hungry primarily because of a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is affected largely by a type of long cells that are situated there. These cells change shape and size, and in the summer lead to that part of the brain wanting to consume more food, thus greatly affecting one’s appetite and hunger, and doing the opposite in winter.
A new research points at growth signals being the main, or at least one of the factors behind how the hypothalamus affects one’s appetite. Exercise is a notable reason behind how this works. When looking at the results provided in the observations of Siberian hamsters, it became clear that just as the hamsters gain weight when exercising, people can sometimes gain weight after exercising. This is because after exercising, people have a sudden urge to eat – and when this urge is appealed to, one may end up gaining not just the calories they burned off, but even more that require exercise to get burned off.
This creates a cycle that in the end simply leads to greater weight gain. Despite not having a clear idea on how this part of the brain can be altered for our benefit, looking closely at hamsters and how their brain functions according to different seasons has opened the eyes of many scientists in regards to how cells might be working inside our body. With more research, it might be possible to create obesity-blocking drugs and medications that prevent the oncoming of excessive fat in one’s body altogether. While the science isn’t there just yet, it could very well achieve the required position in the coming years. With no strives being made in a multitude of fields, perhaps, the answer to obesity is in our distant future.