Can the nose help defeat the obesity epidemic? by UC Science Today

More than a third of American adults are obese. Experts often call it an epidemic and have long been struggling to find ways to fight obesity.

“Knowledge is definitely a great way to combat that. That’s what happened with cigarette smoking when it became obvious this is going to be detrimental. Are we at that stage yet, I don’t think so. We are still going to have an epidemic and people are still becoming more and more obese. And it is a problem and we need to find solutions.”

That’s Andrew Dillin, a molecular biologist of the University of California, Berkeley. He is looking into the possibility of defeating obesity with our – nose.

“Can we actually go through human population, the obese people and actually test their sense of smell? Maybe we can stratify the obese population, attenuating their sense of smell may be very beneficial.”

This hypothesis is based on Dillin’s recent study. It showed that lab animals without a sense of smell were not gaining extra weight and were losing excessive pounds. Dillin hopes scientists could soon test if this could also work in humans.