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Genetic factors that may cause some people to become obese

Researchers from Rockefeller University and collaborators have identified a genetic mechanism that may play a role in at least 10 percent of all obesity cases. The findings, which could help identify individuals with treatable forms of the condition, shed new light on the biology of the hormone leptin, which is produced in fat cells and controls hunger. The amount of leptin in the bloodstream, and how the brain responds to it, help determine how much weight a person will gain.

Integrated therapy treating obesity and depression is effective

An intervention combining behavioural weight loss treatment and problem-solving therapy with as-needed antidepressant medication for participants with co-occurring obesity and depression improved weight loss and depressive symptoms compared with routine physician care, according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Risk of obesity influenced by changes in genes

A child's risk of obesity as they grow up can be influenced by modifications to their DNA prior to birth, a new University of Southampton study has shown. These changes, known as epigenetic modifications, control the activity of our genes without changing the actual DNA sequence. One of the main epigenetic modifications is DNA methylation, which plays a key role in the development of the embryo and the formation of different cell types, regulating when and where genes are switched on.

Lypla1 gene impacts obesity in a sex-specific manner

Susceptibility to obesity, insulin resistance and other cardio-metabolic traits may also be dependent on a person's sex. An international research team of the University of California (UCLA), Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner of the DZD, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany, studied sex differences and sex-specific interaction with the genetic background in cardio-metabolic phenotypes. The researchers discovered, among other things, a sex-specific obesity locus of the Lypla1 gene, which is associated with human obesity.

Obesity-linked cancers on the rise in young adults

A sharp increase in obesity-linked cancers among young adults in the US could foreshadow a reversal in the overall decline in cancer mortality. In a sweeping study covering two-thirds of the US population, researchers from the American Cancer Society, showed that half a dozen cancers for which obesity is a known risk factor became more frequent from 1995 to 2015 among women and men under 50. The younger the age bracket, the more quickly these cancers gained ground,

RYGB causes type 2 diabetes to go into remission in most patients

Three quarters of individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who have Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) experienced diabetes remission within one year of treatment, according to researchers from Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Researchers identify satiety neurons leads to obesity

Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research, have identified a molecular switch that controls the function of satiety neurons, and therefore, body weight. The worldwide epidemic of obesity has reached record levels, and what was once a problem only of industrialised countries is now also affecting the developing world. Consequently, scientists are working with great commitment to identify the mechanisms underlying the disease in order to find new treatments.

Scientists seek volunteers to trial drug to combat obesity

Researchers are looking for volunteers to trial a revolutionary new drug to combat obesity. The capsule has been laboratory-tested on human tissue for more than four years by scientists at Queen Mary University of London, UK, in a project part-funded by the charity Bowel & Cancer Research. The capsule, packed with a mix of natural oils, is believed to ‘trick’ the gut into thinking it’s full and suppresses appetite. Researchers believe it could reduce the need for bariatric surgery and help solve the obesity crisis.  

ZGN-1061 trial shows clinically significant 1.1% reduction of A1C

Zafgen has announced positive data for the second cohort of its Phase 2 clinical trial of ZGN-1061, designed to evaluate efficacy and safety in patients with type 2 diabetes and the likely therapeutic dose range of ZGN-1061 up to 1.8mg. The clinical trial met all of its primary objectives at the 1.8mg dose, which included glycaemic control or change in A1C, and safety and tolerability.

How the brain influences our eating habits and weight gain

Two separate teams of researchers have identified how genes involved in neural development can affect body weight and how brain cells involved in memory play an important role after a meal in reducing future eating behaviour. The first team – led by investigators at the University of Cambridge and Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have pinpointed a set of molecules that wire the body weight centre of the brain.

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