13/01/2010 - 1:13 PM

Anti-Obesity Vaccine – amazing…or not?

I never thought that it could come to this. I guess I can stop teaching people how to eat well and exercise. Someone has come up with an amazing product – an Anti-Obesity Vaccine! The research for a pharmacological agent that affects ghrelin metabolism (ghrelin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate energy balance in the body) was published in 2006 by the Scripps Research Institute (see original article). In their research study Scripps researchers show that a drug which modifies the ghrelin response in rats led to slowed weight gain and decreased fat storage.

This pharmacological breakthrough will most probably be tested on humans and if approved will become the next fat loss “magic pill”. We have seen hundreds, if not thousands of different “magic pill” approaches to weight control and not one has truly worked. Either they have compromised the health of those attempting the treatments or they have simply failed. We should ask ourselves why so many seemingly logical and well meaning approaches fail (not to mention the purely exploitative snake-oil treatments).

New Fat Loss Technique! Guaranteed!
In seeking to better understand the question of weight gain, S. W. Keith et his team in a 2006 research article in the International Journal of Obesity, explain ten important contributors to increasing rates of obesity besides the usual “Big Two” (increased prevalence of processed and sugar-laden foods and reduced physical activity) – they cite such factors as sleep deprivation, the increase in environmental endocrine disruptors and even the decreased rate of smoking in North American Society as reasons for increasing levels of obesity. This research helps illustrate that weight gain or loss are not simple, single factor issues.

Since several lifestyle factors affect physical well-being and body composition, creating change takes a holistic and individualized approach. When you want to create a lasting change – a pill or a diet will simply not do the trick. You have to learn from others who have successfully walked the walk. Just like apprenticeship programs teach young tradespeople the ins and outs of their craft much better than any theoretical textbook ever can – learning from someone with a proven track record is the way to go. A 2007 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine indicating how obesity may be a social phenomenon was widely reported in the mainstream media. While the study showed how obesity can spread through social networks, it also indirectly highlighted how association with more active or leaner individuals can also shift lifestyle balance away from obesity. Such is the power of walking the walk. If you spend more of your time with someone who eats well, who is active and who enjoys his or her life – chances are good that you will learn from them and that you too will spend more of your time eating well, being more active and enjoying your life.

Or, you can always try some snake oil – I hear it works wonders…

Anti-obesity vaccine
(thanks to Dr Yoni Freedhoff of the great Weighty Matters blog for the heads-up on the hysterical eBay link)

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