Posted by Renee Schmidt

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have completed a study to fight obesity using a thermal imaging technique.

Thermal Imaging to Fight Obesity

Obesity is not just a problem in America anymore. It has spread across the globe over the last decade. In fact, research suggests that children under the age of five are more prone to obesity as compared to adults. Figures have reached alarming status with 22 million children under five facing obesity around the globe. Even more worrisome is the rate at which these figures are increasing with no indication of a turnaround on the horizon.

Scientists and doctors at the University of Nottingham have been studying the phenomenon.  In a recent study, they uncovered some positive findings. They discovered that brown fat is not only responsible for burning calories, but it also produces a lot of heat when it’s in action. With the use of thermal imaging, the scientists were able to harness heat-seeking technology to trace reserves of brown fat — the body’s ‘good fat’ — which plays a key role in how quickly our body can burn calories as energy.

This brown fat, also known as Brown Adipose Tissue, works to burn additional calories in the body. It is found in most abundant quantities in newborns and hibernating mammals. Typically, people with high quantity of this fat will burn more calories, and therefore, they will have low-fat levels. The thermal imagine technique helps scientists to not only identify this tissue in the body but also to understand the amount of heat this tissue can produce. Knowing this can help scientists understand how much energy one can burn in a day.

Among some of the most common causes of obesity are unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, busy schedule, and lack of bodily effort. Increasing physical activity has been the only legitimate solution to fight obesity until now. Scientists have recommend that people involved in bike riding, hiking, swimming, sports, kayaking, or even jump roping are lesser prone to obesity. Even some household activities such as gardening and home repairs can also help fight obesity. In many instance, however, physical activity isn’t enough to drop weight. This new thermal imaging technique, however, will allow us to wage war against obesity through direct action. By activating brown tissue and making it do the work, the body can burn calories at an incredible rate, which will results in weight loss.

Since people with higher quantities of brown fat are able to stay slim due to a high-calorie burning rate, they are also lesser prone to fat storage, which ultimately causes obesity, said Professor Michael Symonds of development physiology, who led the research. Scientists now believe they can understand how different food products influence brown tissue which means they’ll be able to assign a thermogenic index to food labels. This will help people understand the exact production of heat in the body should they consume a certain food, which will eventually allow people to understand and differentiate food labels based on the amount of calories they can burn as a result of the food’s impact on brown tissue. People with low heat production from brown tissue will be able to select food with more heat, and therefore, they will be able to burn more calories just by eating the right foods.

I’d certainly like to know which foods promote weight loss!