Saturday, 27 March 2010

Extraordinary Humans: Obesity

Trashy cable sometimes turns up good TV. LivingIt tonight featured a program called "Extraordinary Humans: Obesity". There was some very interesting animations and graphics along with slightly more 'progressive' interpretation of obesity that the usual 'calories in vs calories out' line:

  • Documentary using high-tech animation to travel inside the bodies of overweight individuals. By investigating the astonishing internal mechanics of these people, the programme explores just how their bodies differ from those of average-sized people.

Most of the usual players were there ghrelin and leptin - and also some more 'exotic' drivers - namely Cushing's Syndrome which affects Cortisol (the stress hormone).

Something I found quite interesting was the observation that normally obese males put on abdominal fat. Now Sumo wrestlers, whom we assume to be obese, put on subcutaneous fat. The latter is more accessible to the body as a source of energy and provides a protective layer against impact. Hormones and genetics nicely combining and illustrating the complexity of the issue once again.

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