What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
53 views
53 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
91 views
91 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
128 views
128 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
109 views
109 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
136 views
136 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
201 views
201 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
138 views
138 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
282 views
282 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
226 views
226 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
227 views
227 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
259 views
259 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems
News
8 views
8 views

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems

Jessica Hubbard - October 20, 2018
274 Views
1 Comments

Overriding your desire for fat

Rengo won't help you fight the fat. Photo: Anthony Cox

England, for all its independence catches a cold when the US sneezes. From economy to culture, England absorbs elements of its ally over the pond. Obesity in the US has increased yearly for the last 15 years to the point where 64% of the adult population is overweight, and just over a quarter are clinically obese. In comparison, in England 46% of men, and 32% of women are overweight with a further 17% of men and 21% of women being obese. These numbers are a damning insight into the lifestyle and diet of the nation in the modern world. What is happening to our bodies? Maybe the biochemistry of obesity might shine a light on the situation.

One pound of human fat is the equivalent to 3500 calories, or 7 large milkshakes at McDonalds. In mathematical terms, one could assume that if I were to increase my milkshake intake by 2 a week, in less than a month I’d gain a lb of fat. However, this isn’t biologically correct. The body has the capacity to match our energy output, such as exercise and our basal metabolic rate, to our energy input, our diet.  In a normal situation your body will work hard to keep your body fat within a certain healthy range. A Cambridge study from 1992 shows exactly that; two groups of volunteers were split into “overweight” and “lean”, and both groups made to eat 50% more calories than their daily needs for 6 weeks in controlled conditions. Unsurprisingly, both groups underwent excessive weight gain, predominately fat. After these 6 weeks, both groups were then asked to return to normal eating habits. Lo and behold, both groups lost a significant amount (61%) of the fat mass they had accumulated, telling evidence that the body has no desire to keep body fat high. So how has it gone so wrong?

A biochemical malfunction may give an interesting insight into how we can override our body’s natural desire for limited fat. Adipose tissue (tissue composed of fat cells) is part of the endocrine (hormone producing) system, not just a bit of blubber. One of the hormones it produces, leptin, is essential for fat regulation. Leptin has a number of fat burning physiological effects, from decreasing appetite to triggering fat breakdown. This is the body’s fat feedback system, so the more adipose cells, the more leptin you have in the body and hopefully the more fat burning, keeping the body in a nice equilibrium. Consider mice with the leptin gene knocked-out become vastly overweight due to uncontrolled eating as good evidence.

Leptin’s main site of action is in the hypothalamus, located in the brain just above the brain stem. Upon leptin binding, it controls energy expenditure, appetite and insulin sensitivity (the more insulin sensitive you are, the less insulin required to lower blood sugar and therefore less fat gain). Furthermore, it has been shown in rats and mice that leptin resistance in the hypothalamus causes obesity; it is very likely that this is true of humans as well. So what causes leptin resistance? There are a number of probable causes, two of which look interesting. Firstly, hypothalamus inflammation appears to stop leptin from working and secondly, not enough leptin passing into the brain. These are not mutually exclusive, but what is causing this? A genetic cause is very unlikely for the vast majority of cases because of the sheer numbers of overweight and obese people, so there must be another cause. This cause must be relatively new to humans since such widespread obesity is a very new human phenomenon.

The standout candidate for this would be the shift of our diet. Recent diet changes such as an increased intake of processed carbohydrates (like refined sugar and fructose syrup); decreases in our fibre intake and not enough vitamins in our diet – which can cause abnormal “friendly” bacteria growth and an increase in gut permeability. Both of which appear to increase the number of inflammatory agents in the body, which in turn may lead to hypothalamus inflammation.

The quality of our food has taken a turn for the worse as well; along with the terrible refined sugars which litter our food, we have terrible quality fats. Less omega-3 fatty acids and more processed omega-6s have lead to an imbalance in the ratio. There are a number of studies which show that omega-3 deficiencies lead to leptin resistance, and diets with high omega-3, even with plenty of other fat, show decreases in leptin resistance. There is a link between the two; humans on the whole have moved away from what is arguably our natural diet. Lots of fruit, vegetables, protein and natural food sources. We have started to treat our bodies as rubbish bins rather than organic beings.

What of the future? Obesity is still rising in England, despite the best efforts of the healthcare system and TV chefs. Education is the only way to stop this. Gastric bypasses, pharmaceutical drugs like Alli, and fad diets will have no significant beneficial effect. People need to learn to eat again, head back towards the natural diet of our species and care for themselves. Fruit and vegetables aren’t expensive, so next Tuesday pick-up a few more apples and carrots at the market.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
53 views
53 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
91 views
91 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
128 views
128 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
109 views
109 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
136 views
136 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
201 views
201 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
138 views
138 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
282 views
282 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
226 views
226 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
227 views
227 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
259 views
259 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems
News
8 views
8 views

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems

Jessica Hubbard - October 20, 2018
BCU Black Studies Degree Talk
Campus News
10 views
10 views

BCU Black Studies Degree Talk

Matthew Nicholls - October 20, 2018
Bliss Signal Album Review
Music
42 views
42 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018

One Comment

  1. Over riding your desire for cellulite.. Use of “maybe” is indicative of verbal diarhhea. The biochemical reaction is in your metabolism or your alleged brain. Cambridge study? That the same entity that has undermined Defense? Uhh, I “think” I,ll forego this media spin and eat right, exercise, and leave the leptin to {or in} your brains fat cells.Hope you make fruends with your bacteria.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground
Arts
60 views
Arts
60 views

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground

Hal Keelin - October 18, 2018

Upon my transfer to Sussex University, I found Robert Cowen’s Common Ground a particularly comforting read. After nearly a year out from academic study, I was finally…

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
53 views
Arts
53 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
91 views
Arts
91 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
75 views
Film & Theatre
75 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
114 views
Arts
114 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
102 views
Campus News
102 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
147 views
News
147 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
128 views
Arts
128 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
109 views
Interview
109 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
140 views
Lifestyle
140 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
136 views
Lifestyle
136 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
201 views
Arts
201 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
138 views
News
138 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
282 views
Arts
282 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
205 views
Film & Theatre
205 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
226 views
Sports
226 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
227 views
Arts
227 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
259 views
Arts
259 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1324 views1
Campus News
1324 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems
News
8 views
News
8 views

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems

Jessica Hubbard - October 20, 2018

The new Lewes Road branch of ALDI has opened to the public. Its first customers received free fruit and vegetables and the store has proved popular since.…

BCU Black Studies Degree Talk
Campus News
10 views
Campus News
10 views

BCU Black Studies Degree Talk

Matthew Nicholls - October 20, 2018

Students are due to give a talk about the UK’s first black studies degree as part of Sussex University’s Black History Month events. The free event, which…

Go See a String Quartet: Globally Renowned Artists Play for Free on Campus
Culture
108 views
Culture
108 views

Go See a String Quartet: Globally Renowned Artists Play for Free on Campus

Ketan Jha - October 19, 2018

Classical music can be obtuse. It is easy, especially at free concerts occupied largely by octogenarians, to get lost between movements and melodies. This is especially true…

Bliss Signal Album Review
Music
42 views
Music
42 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018

  CD/Vinyl/Download At first glance, the worlds of black metal and electronic dance music do not seem to have very much in common. The former is characterised…

New Student Energy Project Launches at Sussex
Campus News
25 views
Campus News
25 views

New Student Energy Project Launches at Sussex

Jessica Hubbard - October 18, 2018

A new Student Energy Project has started at Sussex. The project is run in collaboration with The Student Energy Project, the University Sustainability team and Sussex Students’…

Name Changes Made Easier for Students
Campus News
30 views
Campus News
30 views

Name Changes Made Easier for Students

Matthew Nicholls - October 18, 2018

The University of Sussex will now accept unenrolled deed polls as proof of name change to those who wish, granting more freedom and anonymity to those in…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
46 views
News
46 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
52 views
News
52 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
33 views
News
33 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
35 views
Campus News
35 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
69 views
National News
69 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
51 views
National News
51 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
69 views
Music
69 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
72 views
Arts
72 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…