Health Study sheds light on why hunger increases after weight loss

tom_mai78101

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The human body conspires to make weight loss difficult, increasing production of hunger hormones long after the kilograms have been shed, a new study has found.

Researchers in Norway and Denmark report in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism that 35 obese subjects who lost an average of 11 kilograms over two years were hungrier at the end than when they started.

“Obesity is a daily struggle for the rest of one’s life,” Catia Martins, a professor with the obesity research group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said in a news release. She noted that only about 20 per cent of people with obesity who lose weight are able to maintain their lower weight. “We have to stop treating it as a short-term illness by giving patients some support and help, and then just letting them fend for themselves.”

The study looked at 35 adult women and men who were classified as having severe obesity. Over a two-year period, they had five three-week stays at a weight-loss centre, where treatment included increased physical exercise, a moderately restricted diet and psychological therapy.

Back at home, they were advised to continue exercise and maintain a healthy diet similar to that provided at the centre, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

After two years, everyone had lost weight – on average eight per cent of their original weight. But everyone was also hungrier.

Martins said the explanation lies with a hormone called ghrelin, which produces feelings of hunger. “Everyone has this hormone, but if you’ve been overweight and then lose weight, the hormone level increases,” Martins said.


Read more here. (National Post)
 
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