Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Fat is not a hedonist issue

12.11.2001


Scientists are trying to work out how fat fits into our genes
© Corbis


Thinness is more than a matter of taste.

Greasy sausage roll or juicy apple? Our choice of snacks cannot be explained by a taste for fat, nutrition researchers now suggest. By hunting down the genetic secrets of the skinny, they hope to help those prone to piling on the pounds.

Some lucky people munch chips and chocolate and never gain an ounce. Their choice of diet is not down to fondness for fatty flavours, say appetite researchers John Blundell and John Cooling of the University of Leeds1.



The duo compared two lean but extreme dietary groups: one usually eat fatty meat and dairy foods, the other consume more cereals, bread, fruit and vegetables. Asked to rate the taste of solutions ranging from skimmed milk (0.1% fat) to double cream (48%), both groups were indifferent to the creamier choice.

The study suggests that it is habits and social expectations - the subjects were all students - rather than a trick of the taste buds that have people heading for a fry-up at lunchtime. Blundell admits, however, that a real meal also has texture and shape. "It’s still possible that they get more enjoyment from a meat pie," he says.

Thin on the ground

Exactly how the enviable beanpoles of the population eat without gaining weight has made them the focus of a pan-European obesity study. "They have an underlying ability to handle a mass of fat," says project head Julian Mercer of the Rowlett Research Institute in Aberdeen, UK.

The study hopes to identify the genes and proteins that render the eternally thin resistant to weight gain. These might include enzymes involved in storing and breaking down fat. These leads could be used to identify genetic variations that make others susceptible to obesity.

Like screening for breast cancer, people with a predisposition to weight gain could be spotted early and targeted with diets, advice or drugs. With proper diagnosis and treatment, obesity could lose some of its social stigma, hopes Mercer, and be controlled like any other disease.

A changing environment, rather than changing genes, is to blame for the current obesity epidemic in the developed world. Our penchant for sweet and fatty foods probably evolved to save our ancestors from starvation. But in the modern, inactive and food-saturated world, some people’s genetic background is making this predilection a problem.

Encouraging people to change their diet and lifestyle in order to lose weight has proved difficult. "There is no evidence on a population level that it’s working," says obesity researcher Ian Macdonald of Nottingham University, UK, hence the shift of focus to genetics.

Studying those who ignore dietary advice but are seemingly immune to the consequences is an interesting approach to pinpointing genetic susceptibilities, Macdonald thinks. But, he points out, Blundell and Cooling’s slim students may simply be more active then average. Once stuck behind a desk, they too might succumb to middle-age spread. "I’d wage a modest bet on it," he says.

References

  1. Cooling, J. & Blundell, J. E. High-fat and low-fat phenotypes: habitual eating of high- and low-fat foods not related to taste preference for fat. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 55, 1016 - 1021, (2001).


HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service

Weitere Nachrichten aus der Kategorie Medizin Gesundheit:

nachricht Abstoßung von Spenderorganen: Neue Biomarker sollen Komplikationen verhindern
15.12.2017 | Deutsche Herzstiftung e.V./Deutsche Stiftung für Herzforschung

nachricht Antibiotikaresistenzen durch Nanopartikel überwinden?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Medizin Gesundheit >>>

Die aktuellsten Pressemeldungen zum Suchbegriff Innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Immunsystem - Blutplättchen können mehr als bislang bekannt

LMU-Mediziner zeigen eine wichtige Funktion von Blutplättchen auf: Sie bewegen sich aktiv und interagieren mit Erregern.

Die aktive Rolle von Blutplättchen bei der Immunabwehr wurde bislang unterschätzt: Sie übernehmen mehr Funktionen als bekannt war. Das zeigt eine Studie von...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Nanostrukturen steuern Wärmetransport: Bayreuther Forscher entdecken Verfahren zur Wärmeregulierung

Der Forschergruppe von Prof. Dr. Markus Retsch an der Universität Bayreuth ist es erstmals gelungen, die von der Temperatur abhängige Wärmeleitfähigkeit mit Hilfe von polymeren Materialien präzise zu steuern. In der Zeitschrift Science Advances werden diese fortschrittlichen, zunächst für Laboruntersuchungen hergestellten Funktionsmaterialien beschrieben. Die hiermit gewonnenen Erkenntnisse sind von großer Relevanz für die Entwicklung neuer Konzepte zur Wärmedämmung.

Von Schmetterlingsflügeln zu neuen Funktionsmaterialien

Im Focus: Lange Speicherung photonischer Quantenbits für globale Teleportation

Wissenschaftler am Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik erreichen mit neuer Speichertechnik für photonische Quantenbits Kohärenzzeiten, welche die weltweite...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Call for Contributions: Tagung „Lehren und Lernen mit digitalen Medien“

15.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Die Stadt der Zukunft nachhaltig(er) gestalten: inter 3 stellt Projekte auf Konferenz vor

15.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Mit allen Sinnen! - Sensoren im Automobil

14.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Weltrekord: Jülicher Forscher simulieren Quantencomputer mit 46 Qubits

15.12.2017 | Informationstechnologie

Wackelpudding mit Gedächtnis – Verlaufsvorhersage für handelsübliche Lacke

15.12.2017 | Verfahrenstechnologie

Forscher vereinfachen Installation und Programmierung von Robotersystemen

15.12.2017 | Energie und Elektrotechnik