Friday, September 23, 2011

The Relation of Adipocytes and Obesity

skinny girl and larger girl dressed in exercise clothesWhen comparing the effects the same dieting method has on different people, some people will get results while others don’t. This is related to our adipocytes, or fat cells, which are a main factor in obesity. When looking at adipocytes through a microscope, we see three different ways they can contribute to weight gain.

1. There are an increased number of cells.
2. Each cell increases in size but the number of cells stays the same.
3. Both the number of cells and size of each cell increases.

cartoon of an overweight boy growing up to be a man with a large belly.It is said that the number of cells increase during the fetal period, infancy and adolescence. Once the number of cells increases, they cannot change after reaching adulthood. This is why those who were overweight as children are more susceptible to regaining that weight even after becoming skinny. It is clear that since they have a large number of large fat cells, they have a harder time losing weight. This is why it is so important to prevent childhood obesity.

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