Health Watch - The Science of Weight: Fat Effects

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.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the science of weight. We know that eating too many calories, no matter where those calories come from, can make us gain weight, but eating some foods can make you want to eat more.

We say that fat goes to our hips, but scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center say it also hits the brain. Fat molecules from food may go to the brain and tell the body’s cells to ignore the usual signals to stop eating. Dr. Deborah Clegg, the UT Southwestern researcher who led the study, says that’s why you may not notice that you’ve eaten too much when you’re eating something good. The effect can last for several days. This happens the most with saturated fat — the kind found in butter, ice cream and meat. Dr. Clegg says that’s another reason not to eat saturated fat: it could lead to overeating.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/endocrinology to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in endocrinology.

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October 2009


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