NATURE SCIENCE UPDATE
lifelines: Weight gain causes weight loss
Surgically implanting weights into mice fools them into thinking that they
have got fatter. They slim down accordingly and stay slim even after the
weights are removed, new research has discovered1.
The result points to a means of weight regulation based on the body's
perception of how heavy it is and controlled through the nervous system. If
the same pertains in humans, ballast might just be the new fat buster.
Christopher Adams, of the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues
stitched one-, two- or three-gram weights — equivalent to about 10% of body
mass — into the abdomens of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Five weeks
later, the tissue mass of the mice had fallen; the heavier the implant, the
greater the drop, although the weight lost did not compensate exactly for
the weight of the implant.