Tough fight for Overweight and Obese Individuals as Changes in Dopamine Stokes Lazy Behavior: NIH
Overweight individuals find it difficult to improve their lifestyle and increase their physical activity. A new research conducted at National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that sedentary lifestyle and overweight leads to changes in dopamine, resulting in more lethargy. This means that it would be difficult for overweight individuals to shed those extra kilos as they will remain less active compared to healthy weight individuals. The NIH study was conducted on lab mice and the research team noticed changes in dopamine among overweight mice. Obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States and many developed countries. Dopamine is an important chemical which impacts appetite, mood and motor control. The changes in dopamine could stoke obesity further as people would become lazy after being overweight.
The NIH research would also mean that the fight against obesity should include new strategies and one should tackle all aspects including diet, calorie control, regular exercise and control over mind. NIH team noticed that overweight mice had higher tendency of becoming couch potatoes. The amount of running among mice was analyzed by the research team. The team also turned down brain receptor’s activity among lean mice using a drug. They noticed lower physical activity among lean mice but they didn’t gain weight.
In obese mice, the research team turned up the faulty signaling of the receptor during experiment. They found that overweight mice started being more physically active. The activity of the affected dopamine receptor varies considerably among mice and presumably in humans, and it’s clearly not the case that the lazy among us all get fat.
Overweight and obese individuals are rising is majority of countries as people have shifted to fast food, packed food and higher calorie food that has been blamed for having higher sugar, salt and calorie county. Obesity has been blamed for many other chronic diseases including high blood pressure, heart ailments, diabetes and even cancer in certain cases. With improved physical activity, people can improve their general well-being. However, as the NIH research points out, the job becomes tough for overweight people. The best way to deal with extra kilos will be to attack obesity gradually and to be watchful.
Many people make New Year resolutions to reduce their weight. However, majority of these resolutions don’t last more than two weeks. During the first week, many health clubs notice higher number of inquiries from people but the number of seekers of health reduce within few days. Losing weight requires strong resolution and support from family and friends.
The research has been published in journal Cell Metabolism. Nearly 30 percent of American over six year have completely sedentary lifestyle which means that they don’t engage in any physical activity. Earlier research has suggested that every ten pound decline in weight improves self-confidence, ability to exercise and resolution to further reduce weight. It also suggests that the first few pounds are difficult to reduce. Afterwards, the journey would be relatively easier.
Compared to physically active adults, the health care costs for inactive individuals is nearly $1,437 more per year. Nearly 80 percent of Americans do not follow the healthy lifestyle guidelines suggested by the government agencies.
A report published by Perf Science informed, “Many other powerful factors influence our inclination to exercise — not least having the safe spaces, leisure time and social encouragement to do so. But new research in mice confirms that obesity disrupts the proper functioning of a key docking station for dopamine, a brain chemical that affects our moods, appetites and motor control.”
The research paper informed, “To identify mechanisms underlying physical inactivity, we quantified multiple aspects of DA signaling in lean and obese mice. Consistent with prior reports in rodents, D2R-like receptor binding was lower in obese mice relative to lean mice, a finding that was significant in all three striatal subdivisions.”
Obesity is associated with physical inactivity, which is often believed to contribute to weight gain. Additionally, increased adiposity is hypothesized to contribute to low activity levels in people with obesity, although this idea is difficult to test directly. Interestingly, people who lose weight either through diet or bariatric surgery do not increase their activity levels, arguing against the weight of adiposity causing their inactivity.