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Tiny fruit fly could offer big clues in fight against obesity, researcher says
Date:2/11/2010

cks, too," he adds.

"If clocks in our taste-sensing cells also control when and how much we eat, it could greatly impact weight gain. Understanding how these clocks control eating could potentially lead to ways to combat obesity."

Obesity is one of the major threats to health worldwide, especially in the United States, where the number of obese persons has skyrocketed in recent years.

According to the American Medical Association, about one-third of all Americans are now classified as being obese, and obesity rates have soared 60 percent in the last 20 years. Obesity leads to a number of ailments, including heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, diabetes and others. About 33 percent of all U.S. children are considered overweight or obese, a figure that has risen steadily in recent years, and in an average year, there are more than 300,000-obesity related deaths in the U.S.

"By looking closely at factors that control Drosophila's desire to eat, we can draw comparisons to human eating behaviors," Hardin says.

"If we could adjust the key internal clocks, we might be able to control food consumption and, of course, that would be a big step in the fight against obesity."
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Contact: Keith Randall
keith-randall@tamu.edu
979-845-4644
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

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