Have you ever wondered why it is that some people, can eat as much as they want but never seem to gain weight. Speaking from my own experience as a child I seem to remember eating quite well, and still staying thin.
When I was talking to somebody the other day they happened to mention that a programme had been on television which spoke about obesity and weight loss as, I missed it in the week, I downloaded it and watched it over the weekend.
There were quite a few interesting parts throughout the programme , which scientist’s spoke, in between the test results of the participants about what they thought were the causes of obesity and overeating. The experiment involved 10 participants who were naturally thin, the main reason for doing this was because a lot of studies done around weight loss and obesity mainly tend to monitor overweight obese people, rather than thin people.
Here is what they were told to do, eat 5000 calories per day which is roughly double what men are supposed to eat, where as women are supposed to eat 2000 calories per day this was to be monitored over a four-week period.
To see if there was any major differences between the participants of how much weight they gained and body fat percentage, they were told to do no more than 5000 steps per day which was monitored with a pedometer. Which in realistic terms doesn’t equate to much exercise at all.
So the question that the scientists wanted to know was why is it some people do get fatter when others don’t. One of the scientists came up with the theory was because, of the ways that our ancestors used to eat. When there was less food available.
Where cavemen meant to be fat ?
In days gone by when food was very scarce the people most likely to survive was those who had extra body weight. This is one of the reasons why we have fat and probably one of the reasons why we tend to gain weight because, now we tend to have an over abundance of food whereas our ancestors didn’t.
What has been proposed by one of the scientists is those people that were a bit heavier have now passed those genes on to their offspring, but in today’s society it’s not really needed, and this is one of the reasons why, some people do tend to be heavier because their ancestors were the same.
Do we pass obesity on ?
Another thing that came to light was, if sheep tend to have their lambs at a older age then these can tend to be fatter also, this can also apply to human beings if their parents do tend to over eat, they can pass this gene on to their offspring.
Can we eat and not get fat ?
One particular study which was done in Vermont prison which revolved around eating, consisted of giving the inmates as much food as they could possibly eat and if they reached the target than they would be released. The problem with this particular study was even though the prisoners ate as much food as they possibly could.
Some of them gained hardly any weight at all and at the time because it was done such a long time ago, there wasn’t much vadility given to it, the participants in the TV programme where more or less doing the same as what was done all those years ago.
Can coughs and colds spread obesity ?
A leading scientist in diseases and obesity Proffesor Nikhil Dhurandhar, had a colleague who had a problem with chickens and a particular virus which was killing them literally in their thousands. The interesting thing about this was, that all the chickens became with the virus became fat and it became a bit of a mystery as to why.
So they isolated the virus and injected some more chickens just to see what happened, they too became ill and fat as well so there was a connection between the virus and the chickens becoming fat. Because you just can’t use people as lab rats to try these particular experiments, the doctor wanted to see if somehow it may be present in humans also.
The handy thing was he runs an obesity clinic so took blood samples from his patients, and the results were quite surprising some of the blood samples identified antibodies. Which were related to this particular virus, almost 20 percent of the people that he took blood samples from, had the antibodies which proved that at one time or another they had the virus.
The way the body becomes infected by this particular virus is it gets in through your lungs, and infects your brain, liver and kidneys, the research found that one in three people were infected this way. However the doctor did say that the person carrying the virus may only have it for a few months at a time so not everybody would become infected with it.
So there is no need to think that if you come into contact with somebody and they are obese then you will become fat like them. But there is a possibility if you get a cough or a cold that you could become infected.
Can we survive off our own fat ?
Under a controlled experiment, one particular man who was desperate to lose weight fasted for a whole year and lost 275 pounds of weight, one of the scientists who studies fat says that it is possible to live off the oil that we use for energy within our fat cells, and this particular oil is what is burned when we exercise and lose weight.
Are we are programmed to eat more than we should ?
A woman scientist who has a particular interest in the psychology, as to why we eat as much as we do or shouldn’t did a experiment with some young children, in a classroom. She put food on plates and sat four children at tables, whilst doing other tasks such as drawing and colouring, interestingly enough when some children had eaten as much as they could.
They stopped eating whereas some children still kept on eating this was a bit puzzling to the researchers, until they looked into it a bit more deeply, they found that the children who kept on eating had something called the FT0 gene whereas the other children had a variant of it.
This tends to act like a switch in their brains, so instead of stopping eating they carry on, this is another genetic problem which people can have.
Another scientist Dr Ruby Leibel did a study and a monitored people over a two year period of time. First of all they were starved until they reached a set weight once that had been achieved they were given a set amount of calories they could eat per day but some of the people on the study found that they still were hungry.
In order to find out why this was they were given brain scans to see if they could find out why this was. The reason for it was that their brains thought that their obese weight was their correct weight, and this was the reason why they were consuming more food than they needed.
Because their brains were telling them to do so, it would seem that some people will feel hungry no matter how much they eat and it will be a struggle even if they are trying to lose weight because their brains will be telling them that they still need to eat more food even when they don’t need it.
At the end of the four week eating experiment, the 10 participants who were involved in it were measured both weight wise and for body fat, all of them gained some weight and had a higher percentage of body fat, all except one his weight remained constant because he turned into muscle rather than gaining weight. All the people whom took place in the study where thin as children.
And once they had stopped eating 5000 calories a day started to lose weight again quite easily,all in all quite fascinating really.
On a side note you may decide that you want to try and eat 5000 calories a day and see if your body turns to muscle, but the chances are that you will gain weight and become fat. But if you do drop me a line and let me know how it went.