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

d a great deal about the neurochemical systems that govern processes like the wanting and liking of food, and it's time to exploit that knowledge to help people manage their eating behaviour."

Anti-obesity drugs can work in different ways; for example, by suppressing appetite, altering metabolism or inhibiting the absorption of calories. There have, however, been serious concerns over the safety of the most commonly prescribed drugs, leading to the recent withdrawal of the European market leaders Sibutramine (Reductil, Meridia) and Rimonabant (Accomplia). As a consequence of these setbacks, there are few anti-obesity drugs in development.

Dr Halford and his co-authors explain that there are motivational, emotional and behavioural traits which are common to the obese. Typically, obese people have a heightened desire to eat, which is easily provoked by environmental factors such as food adverts. They display a pre-occupation with food and have a heightened preference for high fat and high sugar foods. Obese people also tend to eating faster and take larger mouthfuls which together result in them eating bigger meals.

However, despite eating larger than normal portions, obese people are less likely to feel full after eating, partly because of the energy-dense foods they prefer have a reduced impact on gastrointestinal hormone signals that help promote feelings of satisfaction and fullness. Consequently, there are a number of reasons why obese people have enduring, and easily provoked, feelings of excessive hunger which culminate in overconsumption.

Professor Tim Kirkham, an authority on the biopsychology of appetite at the University of Liverpool, said: "Novel, effective anti-obesity treatments must address these different factors. We need to identify drugs that can selectively affect the desire to eat, the enjoyment of eating, fullness and satisfaction. Interventions designed specifically to modulate these processes could
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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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