Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/03/2014 -- CDC experts estimate that over 35 percent of adults and 17 percent of children in America are obese, and therefore at risk for the various diseases (heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer) that go along with obesity. Though usually treated with a combination of diet, nutrition counseling, and exercise, scientists are researching deeper into the human body to understand how obesity develops on a cellular level.
Using state-of-the-art technology to analyze fat accumulation within cells, researchers from Tel Aviv University discovered that nutrition is not the only factor that is driving up obesity rates; “cellular expansion” plays a role in fat production as well.
The researchers conducting the study wanted to find out why a sedentary lifestyle can result in obesity even when coupled with a fairly nutritious diet. What they found is that fat cells exposed to sustained pressure, such as what happens to the hips and glutes while sitting down, experienced accelerated growth of lipid droplets, which are molecules that carry fats.
Once the lipid droplets are accumulated, the cellular mechanics change and they expand in shape and composition. Therefore, the more sedentary a lifestyle is, the more pressure cells are under and when they receive fatty deposits, this pushes the cells to expand and take up more room.
Knowing and understanding these mechanics highlights the importance of being active and reducing the amount of time spent sitting. Nutrition and diet are important to reduce fat intake, but without movement the cellular structure cannot change or return to normal shape. Realizing this can also offer practical physical solutions to obesity by understanding how to change the environment of cells and how to aid them in producing less fat.
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