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How the Fat cells works in controlling obesity in children

Updated on April 16, 2011

Etiology of obesity

Miraculous is the way our body organises the fat content and utilises or stores it for future use. The etiology of obesity and the absurdity of the various methods available today for controlling it are analyzed here. A well researched but well written piece, it should be the reference guide for the obese and the dieters.

The food we eat supplies the energy our body needs for functioning. If we supply too much energy, our body accepts it willingly but does not need it and therefore, stores it for a rainy day. Fat cells are specialized units used for this storage. The supply of energy through food is by three main components - protein, carbohydrates and fats. Excess food in any of these forms is converted into fat in the body and stored in fat cells. Therefore, any food can be fattening depending on the quantity consumed. Only the surplus food is converted into fat and stored in these cells. Therefore, if your body is accumulating fat, whatever you eat is simply going to fatten you further.

Obesity in children

Role of fat cells, fat droplets and fat depots in weight loss and obesity

The fat cells, that store fat as fat droplets are present in many places in the body, are called fat depots. Which depot will catch the circulating fat from blood for storage depends on various factors. Lipoprotein lipase is one of the most important of these factors. It is the function of the enzyme which is present in fat cells to catch the circulating fat and bring it inside the fat cells. Higher concentration and effectiveness of this enzyme means greater fat catching ability of that particular fat depot. More lipoprotein lipase means more fat storage at that particular site and more fat in turn, means more lipoprotein lipase. If overfeeding continues, this accumulation of fat in cells continues and fat cells keep increasing in size. However, when fat cells reach a particular size called critical size, they can not accept fat any more and new fat cells have to be laid down to accommodate the incoming flow of fat. Formation of these new fat cells has far reaching influence. First of all, their formation is irreversible, i.e., even if a person decides to lose weight, contents of individual fat cell can be emptied, but the increased number of cells remains intact. Greater number of fat cells means greater lipoprotein lipase and a constant tendency towards obesity. This is significant especially for children. An overweight child is more likely to become and remain an overweight adult compared to a lean child.


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