Can Science Cure Obesity?

This may sound like a dumb question but, bear with me. A recent science article exults…

‘Metabolic Switch’ Toggles Our Cells to Store or Burn Fat

It seems like cruel fate that some folks are naturally thin, while others have to work tirelessly to control their weight. But in the future, we may be able to level the playing field, because scientists have just discovered a ‘metabolic master switch’ that determines whether fat-producing adipocytes store or burn energy.

“Obesity has traditionally been seen as the result of an imbalance between the amount of food we eat and how much we exercise, but this view ignores the contribution of genetics to each individual’s metabolism,” said Manolis Kellis, a computational biologist at MIT. Kellis, however, believes that genes may be critically important. In a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Kellis and his co-authors describe a genetic variant, tightly linked to obesity, that causes adipocytes to become energy-storing white fat cells instead of energy-burning beige fat cells.

My first problem with this whole idea is simply this: all you need to do to achieve the exact same effect is cut carbs and increase consumption of saturated fats. That’s it. So why muck about with this whole deal.

Second, seems to me that the whole premise of this sort of thing is to say, ‘oh what the hell, just keep eating the stuff that darn near killed you and we’ll invent a magic cure!’

How could that possibly go wrong?

I often feel that the modern medical profession can be summed up thusly: for God’s sake man, we went to school for umpty-umpty years, I’m not telling people to stop eating sugar, it’s beneath me.

So can the modern medicine cure obesity? Here’s a better question: we already know how, why don’t they?


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