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In The News: Obesity vs. Technology

Posted Aug 24 2008 10:53pm
Another interesting tidbit emerging from Tufts -- chemical and biological engineering assistant professor Kyongbum Lee has spent a large portion of the past five years researching how to " manipulate metabolic reactions in fat cells to make them dump excess nutrients that might otherwise be stored as fat. "

Consulting with medical researchers throughout the entire process -- and funded by grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation to the tune of $750,000 -- Lee is trying to determine if fat cells can be made less efficient at storing energy.

His research and proposal are up for peer review soon; Lee eventually hopes to eventually convert his research into a non-invasive drug that can treat obesity .

So then we get to the critical thinking.

Is the desire for an "anti obesity" pill portraying us as helpless victims?

Where does personal responsibility fall in this paradigm?

Is it too shallow to think of health solely on the basis of weight?

Is being at a healthy weight sufficient?
Think of someone who doesn't exceed their recommended caloric intake but subsists mainly on nutritionally void processed foods, for example.

Is there a need for an anti obesity pill?

Remember, too, that many health conditions are brought on by inadequate Omega 3:Omega 6 ratios, excess sodium, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and high saturated fat intake.

Obesity may aggravate these factors and increase risks, but an obesity pill is by no means a miraculous cure.

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