Probably the most scientific and up-to-date means of fighting obesity is being designed now. It will be a computer chip meant to be implanted into an arm and help control weight. The idea is the chip will be checking the fat level in the blood. As soon as it finds that the owner is eating more than he or she should, it will release a hormone that eliminates the feeling of hunger.
When the first version of the chip was tested on mice, obese mice went easier on their food and really began dropping excessive weight. When their weight came down to normal, the device halted functioning and released no more drug.
The Swiss scientists working on this project say that they intend to manufacture the device of the size of a coin within the decade; it will be easy to install under the skin.
The article in the Nature Communications journal informs that there are two genes in the chip working together to curb appetite. The first is responsible for checking fat, and when the level increases, it sends an order to the second gene to prepare the anti-appetite substance.
Prof Martin Fussenegger, the inventor of the helpful chip, is sure that the device carrying other genes can be used for treating other illnesses as well.
The chip is believed to have no significant side effects and to replace in future diet pills – which are to be taken throughout the day – and gastric banding, a very costly and invasive procedure.
Obesity threatens to take away several years off a person’s lifespan besides inviting a bunch of health problems like heart diseases, diabetes, depression, fertility problems and several kinds of cancer.
As the researchers’ spokesman pointed out, weight problem is the scourge of the humankind, with more than 50% of the population in many highly developed countries being obese, and every third individual grossly overweight (by the figures of the World Health Organization).
The spokesman also reminded that high-calorie foods grow fat padding on people’s midriff area which is hard to get rid of, and even let fat get into the blood where it circulates all over the body. Blood laced with fat aggravates the heart condition and can result in strokes and attacks.
Sufficient funding provided, the chip is to be tested on people in a few years’ time. If the tests go well, and the device is found efficient and safe, it can be manufactured extensively within a couple of years.
Nevertheless, the researchers say that the chip won’t be able to cope with too much weight, and it will be active for only a given period.