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Anti-obesity drugs unlikely to provide lasting benefit according to scientists
Date:3/16/2010

LIVERPOOL, UK 15 March 2010: Scientists at the University of Liverpool argue that anti-obesity drugs fail to provide lasting benefits for health and wellbeing because they tackle the biological consequences of obesity, and not the important psychological causes of overconsumption and weight gain.

Dr Jason Halford, Reader in Appetite and Obesity at the University of Liverpool, points out that anti-obesity drug developers focus primarily on weight loss as their end goal, and do not take into consideration the motivational and behavioural factors that most commonly cause obesity. Obesity typically results from eating too much food combined with too sedentary a lifestyle. However, obese people may also have a complicated psychological relationship with food that makes it difficult for them to control their appetite sufficiently to manage their weight.

Obesity is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century and, according to Government predictions, is set to affect half of all men and more than a third of all women in the UK by 2025. Obesity is not only associated with a number of serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and reduced life expectancy, but also has a knock-on effect for the health service, industry, education and government with a multi-billion pound cost to the economy.

Dr Halford said, "Anti-obesity drugs haven't successfully tackled the wider issues of obesity because they've been focused predominantly on weight loss. Obesity is the result of many motivational factors that have evolved to encourage us to eat, not least our susceptibility to the attractions of food and the pleasures of eating energy rich foods - factors which are, of course, all too effectively exploited by food manufacturers.

"As psychological factors are critical to the development of obesity, drug companies should take them into consideration when designing new drug therapies. We've learne
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Contact: Sarah Stamper
sarah.stamper@liv.ac.uk
44-151-794-3044
University of Liverpool
Source:Eurekalert

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