Inactivity Does Not Cause Obesity; Obesity Causes Inactivity, Study Reveals

First Posted: Jan 02, 2017 03:40 AM EST

It is an age-old notion that obese people are lazy enough to exercise. But according to a new research finding, this may not be true. Researchers did a comparative analysis of the level of physical activities of two groups of mice. The first group was obesity induced, done by feeding high fat chow, while the other group comprised of the lean peers.

Closer analysis of the brain activity of the two groups of mice revealed that the activity of dopamine receptors was considerably reduced in obese mice as compared to the lean ones. Dopamine signaling is responsible for controlling movements and physical activities. The impaired activity of dopamine signaling was parallel with reduced physical activities in mice, according to SunSentinel.

In order to further verify the role of dopamine signaling and reduced physical activity, the researchers knocked out the activity of dopamine receptors in the lean mice group. It was observed that the knocked out mice also preferred a sedentary life with low physical activities just as the obese group. However, they did not gain any weight.

Furthermore, when the activity of dopamine receptor was deliberately enhanced in the obese mice group, it leads to a considerable increase in the levels of physical activities of obese mice, MNT reported.

The study was published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism, and it indicated that inactivity is not the basic natural cause of being obese. Rather, obesity induces sedentary lifestyle, which further augments the process of gaining weight.

This downstream consequence of excess weight not only encourages people to stick to a sedentary life style and turn into a couch potato but it also fosters the development of secondary health complications such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

According to a recent survey, 30 percent of the total American population leads a completely sedentary life style. It is not only unhealthy but it also damages the social and financial rapport of the individuals. Physically inactive adults are more likely to visit hospitals and spend at least $1,437 more toward healthcare costs, as opposed to individuals who exercise on a regular basis.

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