Thursday, 7 July 2011

Fat Regain

An interesting segment on the SciFri site (available as a podcast) titled 'When Packing On Pounds, Location Counts':
  • It's not just the quantity of body fat that affects health--it's where the fat settles, too. Ira Flatow and guests discuss research that suggests belly fat poses the biggest risk for patients with heart disease, and why fat sucked from the thighs and hips tends to reappear shortly after on the waistline.
Highlights include:
  • Evidence that lipsouction leads to fat regain within a few years to the same level as before!
  • Fat may be removed from waist and thighs, but comes back above waist only. This presents the idea that maybe it cannot form back in thighs due to cell destruction?
  • A further idea discussed is that fat is metabolically active and informs the brain. When fat cells are removed, a source of information/signalling to the brain is lost. Cells cannot signal 'we are full' so the brain drives further 'fat storage'.
  • The obesity paradox (Higher BMI reduces risk of CHD). Note: whenever someone appends the word 'paradox' to matters of diet/nutrition, be sure that the hypothesis on which this is based is simply wrong!
  • Fat influencing menstrual cycle and early puberty.
  • Robert Eckel (Past President, American Heart Association and Professor, Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine) is disparaging about the idea of a body fat set point. He disagrees with the concept, but fails to consider it might be dynamic, depending on environmental/hormonal cues.
Some of the comments found my favour!


Methuselah said...

Bullets 2 and 3 are pretty compelling. Apparently people are getting fat cells 'lasered' now as well, to which presumably the same rationale applies.

Asclepius said...

I like to imagine the following conversation will be had at some point where a patient has just awoken from this kind of surgery:

Doc: We just hacked 200lbs of fat off your but and gut.

Patient. Wow! It's over, I'm thin again. I can't believe I am cured.

Doc: You're not cured. We just hacked 200lbs of fat off your but and gut.

Patient: But you've 'fixed' my obesity problem?

Doc: Nope. We just hacked 200lbs of fat off your but and gut.

Patient: But I have just spent $10,000 on this procedure. I wanted to be thin. You've made me thin right?

Doc: Yep. We just hacked 200lbs of fat off your but and gut.

Patient: And I won't get fat again? Right?

Doc: Let me look at my appointments sheet for next year...