Health Watch -- Obesity Research

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

The majority of adults in the United States today are overweight or obese, and a growing percentage of children and teens are overweight. This epidemic of obesity could have serious health consequences, as obesity raises the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and liver disease. Even though we know about the risks of obesity, it can be difficult to lose weight or keep from gaining weight. That's why researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are researching how hunger and appetite work. This week on Health Watch, we'll talk about this research.

Dr. Joel Elmquist, a UT Southwestern obesity researcher, says the drug combination known as Fen-phen was effective for suppressing appetite, but it caused heart complications for some patients. Now doctors are trying to find drugs that have similar beneficial effects without the harmful side effects.


September 2006

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