Thursday, July 22, 2010

Obesity Changes how Fat is Perceived, Metabolized

Source: Science Daily (Summary by NIM)

It should come as no surprise that individuals with more fat on their frames - namely overweight and obese individuals - have a different relationship with fats than people who are of a healthy weight. Not only do they taste fat in different ways, but their bodies also respond to the molecules differently, according to a new study.

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the researchers found that obese individuals were less able to detect the taste of fat and additionally, it seems their bodies were also unable to detect the presence of fat in the way that they are normally supposed to. When individuals of a healthy weight tasted the same fat-spiked beverage, they were more able to detect the presence of fat, and their stomachs correctly sent signals to their brains, resulting in the release of hormones that resulted in feelings of fullness, telling them to stop eating. This was not the case in obese individuals.

Basically, people who have a large amount of body fat or consume too many calories per day may continue to do so because their bodies aren't telling them that they are full! According to the leader of the research team, "At this point it is not possible to tell whether reduced responsiveness to the taste of fat or reduced gut hormone release causes over-consumption of fat, or whether eating a high-fat diet impairs taste and hormonal responses to fat ". Scary stuff! Bottom line - eat a healthy amount of fat in order to keep your weight in check and your body working properly!

Read more at Science Daily (July 19, 2010) in the article called "Obesity Is Associated With Reduced Sensitivity to Fat "