Science Wages A War On Obesity

We are having a bout with little itty bitty ants. For some reason, they are hanging out in our upstairs bathroom. With no food source, I'm hoping they will go away on their own. If that's not the case, I will take action. I'm researching non-toxic remedies (we have Golden Retrievers who like to lick, sniff and eat just about anything). One that I came across was cornmeal. Apparently the ants will eat the cornmeal and then go for a drink of water. The cornmeal expands in their little ant bellies and boom – they blow up and are no longer a problem.

I find this to be a bit sadistic, so I will take my chances and hope they get bored and hungry and just leave on their own. Why am I babbling about ants? Well, it appears that the same theory behind the cornmeal nosh of death concoction can also help people lose weight.

According to a press release from Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), researchers are designing foods that alter their structure once inside the body. The process can help control the rate of food digestion and also trick the body’s sensory systems, especially in the digestive tract, to make you feel fuller for longer.

One of the most interesting developments in the field is the creation of ‘gels’ that form once inside the stomach. It’s a technically difficult area where control of the gel’s bulk, strength and longevity are affected by the unique pH environment found in the stomach, states the release.

David Brown, chief executive IChemE, said: “Self-structuring gels like those researched by chemical engineers . . .  have a potentially important role in the future if we are to manage energy intake and address issues like obesity."

Hmmmm. . . I'm just picturing science going terribly wrong. I'm getting visions of people and ants lying on their sides holding their bellies saying, "It must have been something I ate."

You can read the release and judge for yourself.

Traci-bio-photo.jpgTraci Purdum
Senior Digital Editor, pest pacifist and skeptical dieter.