Caffeine and obesity link will make you order a double

COULD the answer to Australia's worsening obesity epidemic be found in the bottom of a coffee cup?

A new study out of China suggests caffeine could play a major role in weight loss by targeting a 'lazy' part of an obese subject's brain.

The report by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, released today, detailed how obese mice were less hungry and more active after being dosed with caffeine.

Caffeine interacted with a part of the brain known as the adenosine receptor, which regulated the body's energy balance and hunger, the report found.

Marc Stapelberg

Obese mice given caffeine had reduced appetites, more energy and began to exercise, new research has found.

Mice who were obese were hyperphagic - or abnormally hungry and prone to excessive eating - and had a glucose intolerance.

And it seemed their significant weight had resulted in unusual activity in the brain.

But after being given caffeine, their appetites were dramatically suppressed and they began to exercise more, leading to weight loss, the study stated.

"Two-week caffeine treatment significantly reduced the body weights of diet-induced obese mice," it stated.

Fat cells were much smaller in size and glucose tolerance was also improved.

"To (examine) the causes of peripheral caffeine treatment-induced body weight reduction, we measured the food intake and energy expenditure. We found that (giving the mice caffeine) significantly reduced food intakes and increased the wheel-running activities of (obese) mice."


There have been previous observations of caffeine's contribution to weight loss but the mechanism remained unknown.

The new study sheds light on how the drug could assist in tackling obesity, but it's early days.

Caffeine targeted a 'lazy' part of obese mice brains that resulted in increased energy and reduced appetites.
Mice were given the human equivalent of 30 cups of coffee, so it won't be the next diet fad just yet, scientists warn.

Researchers have shifted their focus to weight and diet in recent years, as developed nations witness rapid increases in obesity.

Scientists are turning their minds to obesity as western nations grapple with a growing problem.
Scientists are turning their minds to obesity as western nations grapple with a growing problem. Scott Powick Daily News

In 2015, a staggering 63 per cent of Australian adults were overweight or obese, presenting an eight per cent increase from 1995.

Data released last December found South Australia had the highest proportion of overweight and obese Australians at 73.3 per cent. It was followed closely by western NSW (71 per cent).

Even the nation's healthiest regions still had populations where more than half of people were overnight or obese.

Excess weight, especially obesity, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said.

"As the level of excess weight increases, so does the risk of developing these conditions. In addition, being overweight can hamper the ability to control or manage chronic disorders."

News Corp Australia

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks