We know that bariatric surgery leads to weight loss and reduces type 2 diabetes – but until now we haven’t really known about why.
Professor Rachel Batterham – an expert on and champion of bariatric surgery in the UK – tells Kim Hill the answer is a lot more complicated than previously thought.
“We know now that it changes the hormones that come from the gut that tell your brain whether you’ve eaten or not … What it does it is effectively tricking the brain into thinking you’ve eaten a large meal, when often you’ve only eaten a small amount. It also changes how the brain sees food – so rather than food being really interesting and really rewarding, food becomes less interesting.”
Professor Rachel Batterham has played a key role in identifying that gut hormones play a large role in feelings of hunger and food intake – and researching how that information might be used in the fight against obesity.
She is in New Zealand to speak on targeting the gut to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes at the Diabesity Symposium, jointly organised by two National Science Challenges – A Better Start and Healthier Lives – and the University of Otago’s Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre.