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The Center for Obesity Reversal

The Center for Obesity Reversal at Georgia State University has been established to foster research projects that will help fight and reverse the growing obesity epidemic in the United States and around the world. Obesity is a disease of enormous proportions that has a huge health burden as well as an economic one, costing the U.S. billions of dollars in healthcare costs.

The center’s mission is to promote interdisciplinary, collaborative research focused on obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic inflammation and some cancers. Researchers from diverse backgrounds will focus on two ways to reduce obesity, decreasing food intake and increasing energy expenditure, with a primary focus on the mechanisms underlying the control of food intake and energy expenditure.

The obvious solution to obesity would be for people to eat less and expend more energy, but exercise doesn’t cause enough energy expenditure to make a huge difference. An average sized man who eats about 3,200 calories (approximately their daily intake) would need to run a marathon or 26.2 miles to expend all of the calories. While exercise is helpful to maintain a healthy body weight, a person needs to decrease food intake for a substantial weight loss, said Timothy Bartness, Director of the Center for Obesity Reversal.

“There is a need for further basic research with clinical significance to help develop potential therapeutic treatments for obesity and related disorders. The hope is that we can better understand the mechanisms underlying obesity reversal so that the possibility of applying these basic research findings to actual treatments of obesity might result in making the effortful means of reversing obesity more effortless,” Bartness said.

Existing treatments for obesity have been quite ineffective with the exception of the Roux-en Y-bypass, which is a drastic surgical procedure that has its problems as well. The obesity problem will only increase worldwide as countries become more developed, he said.

“There is no other solution. I don’t believe you can pray fat away. You cannot legislate fat away, so what is left?.”

Tim Bartness, PhD.
Talking about the reason for such a center

scientist with test tubes