Obesity is a complex issue as many factors can contribute to it. One of these is the amount of calories a person takes on a daily basis. And one of the reasons why people have a hard time burning calories is overeating, especially on a diet that is excessive in fat.
However, based on an animal study, the diet itself can get anybody in a vicious cycle of overeating. It turns out that too much fat may cause a significant change in the gut flora.
The gut contains millions of bacteria that are different from one another but all working together to ensure that the person's health is in check. Some of these bacteria are responsible for increasing the body's immunity, for example. If the balance, meanwhile, is disturbed, an illness or a metabolic change may be expected to occur.
Researchers from the Veterinary Medicine Department of Georgia College worked on rats, which were then divided into two groups. One of the groups consumed a regular diet with about 6% fat. The others were allowed to eat as much as 35% of fat. After a certain period, these rats were then dissected so their guts can be examined.
They discovered that there's a noticeable difference between the microbial environments in the gut for each of the two groups. The disturbance was so significant that certain bacteria were wiped out and some eventually took over the population.
Further, they believe that the changes in the gut are also causing modifications in the way the brain perceives feeding and satiety signals. This is because the region of the brain that is responsible for controlling food intake tends to become inflamed. Since there's a change in the way the brain perceives food and eating, it is also possible that satiety signals can be misinterpreted or delivered in a wrong manner. Either way, it changes the natural food behavior of a person.