Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Does it really need to be this complicated?

I noticed an article in last nights Evening Standard reporting that scientists have found a way to transform white 'bad fat', usually found around the abdomen, into the less harmful 'brown fat' which is more easily burnt for energy.

The theory is that by converting the fats it will be easier to burn fat stimulating weight loss and from this they have concluded that a transplant of brown fat stem cells could be used as a means of encouraging weight loss and dealing with the obesity epidemic in the Western world.

Sounds great doesn't it - like it's the new lipo - pop into the docs for an injection of brown fat stem cells and wait for the fat to melt away! But, just as for liposuction, this procedure would do nothing to address why the individual became obese in the first place, or to make sure it didn't happen to them again.

What strikes me about this is that there's a tendency to over-complicate treatment of obesity, with huge sums of money spent on research into weight loss drugs and procedures such as gastric banding (available to some individuals on the nhs). What I'd like to see is this money diverted into education for the public on the dangers of obesity and the simple ways to avoid it and reverse it.

Weight-loss doesn't require a magic tablet or expensive injection, just sensible advice (not the calorie restrictive information found in the press) and in some cases counselling to deal problems in the emotional relationship with food and weight. Once an individual knows how to eat to stay slim and healthy they have that skill for life, no nasty side effects and no repeat prescriptions necessary!

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