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Obesity Some of the worlds top scientists have got together to try to reduce the growing number of people who are dangerously fat In Britain one in five women and one in seven men are obese - and those figures are growing fast But we are still behind the States where over half the population are grossly overweight Scientists from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Research Institute and Grampian University Hospitals NHS Trust have formed ACERO the Aberdeen Centre for Energy Regulation and Obesity The group will study the condition and related phenomena in the hope of coming up with a solution Professor of Zoology at Aberdeen University and founding chairman of ACERO John Speakman said It is clear that the failure of some people to regulate their body weight is not just a matter of people overeating or being lazy It is also a problem with their physiology which might have many causes This new group of scientists collaborating across institutional boundaries is set to make a significant impact on our understanding of this problem leading to breakthroughs which will aid in its treatment Professor Speakman said animal metabolisms could give a clue on how to tackle human obesity He said Many small animals change body fatness in response to day length changes If we can find out why this happens then we might be able to evaluate the sorts of physiological problems that might underpin difficulties which obese people have in regulating their body weight One popular idea is the thrifty genotype hypothesis which suggests the people who are prone to obesity have been favoured by natural selection in the past because they are efficient in storing fat It is only when faced with a Western diet high in fat that the thrifty genes start to cause problems because they are too efficient and lead to massive increases in body weight Obesity is associated with increases in Type II diabetes high blood
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