By Denise Reynolds RD for eMaxHealth.com
Evolutionary theory suggests that in times of famine, the human body is less efficient at burning fat, choosing instead to store it in order to survive when food is scarce. Today, most Americans are less likely to have lack of food, but instead live as if every day were a feast. Unfortunately, our genes now are more likely to react to this excess calorie and fat intake and produce health effects such as diabetes and heart disease. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have turned their focus on a protein known as fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF 1) which may open up new avenues for the treatment of some obesity-related disease.
Obesity rates have soared in the United States in recent decades, with more than one third of US adults and 17% of children and adolescents now considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With the rise in obesity comes an increased incidence of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that nearly 26 million Americans are affected with this costly condition.