It's one of the biggest health problems in the Western world and now Melbourne scientists are leading the charge with tackling obesity!
In a bid to shrink our ever growing waistlines, experts are researching the sophisticated messaging system between the brain and the body - hoping to be able to pinpoint the neurological cause of obesity.
These Aussie scientists at Monash Bio-medicine Discovery Institute believe the brain may be to blame for obese people seeking out fatty and sugary foods, saying their brains are unable to detect when they are full.
Associate Professor Zane Andrews telling the Herald Sun, "there is no question the brain is the key site regulating appetite and obesity.”
“There are a number of genetic mutations that increase the risk of obesity and the majority are located somewhere in the brain", said Prof Andrews
“It is a control issue, but it’s not a wilful conscious decision because in obesity, the brain doesn’t perceive information correctly from the body”, he said.
Importantly, these scientists believe the problem may stem from childhood, when the brain pathways are forming.
Mums and dads often reward kids' good behaviour with sweet treats, creating a lifelong link between sugar and feeling good.
Assoc Prof Andrews said exposure to highly palatable, sugary and fatty foods early on in life predicted how the brain responded and how it “controls you” as an adult.