Put Your Feet Up To Slim Down?
“The key to losing weight could be as simple as putting your feet up” – suggests the Daily Mail.
The newspaper reported that “scientists have found a gene that makes us crave sweet and fatty foods and pile on the pounds when under stress”.
This news story is apparently based on research which found that genetically modified mice were more anxious when scientists switched on a gene that produces a brain chemical called urocortin-3. The study found that the stressed mice metabolised food in a different way to normal mice, with their bodies preferring to burn carbohydrates rather than fats. The study actually found that there was no difference in the amount of food the mice ate, and it did not look at whether, if given a choice, the mice would preferentially choose sweet or fatty foods.
Further study may be warranted to look at the role of urocortin-3 in metabolism in humans. However, it is not clear from this animal study how human urocortin-3 production would be affected by stimuli, or whether elevated urocortin-3 would lead to changes in weight or eating. There is also insufficient evidence to suggest that reducing anxiety levels alone is enough to lose weight.
Does stress make you crave sweet and fatty foods?