Scientists say they may have finally found a way to cure obesity — by tweaking a series of genes known as the ‘hippo’ pathway. 

Humans carry four genes in the brain  — named after the bulbous mammals — that can trigger weight gain.

A Cambridge University study found that fruit flies could lose weight if they were turned on. 

Hippo genes are shared by fruit flies and humans, which account for 75 percent of their genetic makeup.

According to official estimates, around 35million adults in the UK are obese or overweight. This category is estimated to include 70 million adults in the United States.  

Scientists found that switching on a set of four genes named after the bulbous mammals may help to slow weight gain (stock)

Scientists discovered that a set four genes named after bulbous mammals can slow down weight gain (stock).

Dr Andrea Brand, a neuroscientist who worked at Cambridge University, explained to The Sun that when you remove “hippo” signalling in the brain, animals get fat. This gives us hope about future treatments.

“There might be drugs that have side effects of increasing these genes and decreasing fat.

Scientists examined a large number of genes from obese individuals to determine if any were involved in the study.

Researchers found that obese people are more likely to have their ‘hippo’ genes deactivated than the general population.

They switched these genes on in fruit flies to see if they were related to weight gain. 

Brits are bribed to buy cinema tickets and shopping vouchers in order to lose weight 

As a reward for losing weight, people will receive cinema tickets and shopping vouchers under the new Government plans to tackle obesity in Britain.

FitMiles will see Brits wear Fitbit devices to track their exercise.

It will encourage them and their families to eat better, reduce their portions, and increase their daily exercise.

 In return for improving their lifestyle, they will collect points which can be redeemed for vouchers or discounts on items.

The Government will offer discounts for cinema tickets or the theme parks, shopping coupons, vouchers to buy clothes and food, as well as discounts on movie tickets and the cost of gym memberships.

However, one prominent commentator slammed it as a ‘waste money’ and an example of how the nanny state continues to infiltrate people’s lives.

The results showed that the insects gained less weight. 

Scientists behind this study suggested that it could be used to develop new treatments for obesity.

The regulation of the size and function of organs is also controlled by the Hippo genes.

The UK offers a variety of diets and exercise plans for obese people.

In some cases, they might also be sent for surgery.

Research suggests that obese people are more likely to store fat than others.

Scientists have long known that genetics play a major part in whether someone will become overweight, but that calorie intake is also a factor.

The study was published in PLoS Biology. 

It comes just a few months after No10 launched a campaign to trim the nation’s waistlines. Brits are expected to be bribed by shopping vouchers and tickets to the cinema to lose weight.

FitMiles, a scheme that was unveiled late last year, will see Brits use Fitbit-style devices for monitoring their exercise levels.

It will encourage them and their families to eat better, reduce their portions, and increase their daily exercise.

They will receive points in return for improving their lifestyle. These points can be used to redeem vouchers or discounts for items. 

Some of the items that the Government plans on offering are discounts on cinema tickets or theme park tickets, shopping coupons, vouchers to buy clothes and food, as well as vouchers for gym passes.

One prominent commentator, however, criticized the policy as a “waste of money” and an example of the ongoing infiltration of the state into people’s lives.

A pilot version of this scheme will be launched in January in an yet-to-be-announced area of England. It will run for six months, before being extended to the rest.

Maggie Throup, Minister for Vaccines and Public Health, presented the scheme to MPs in Parliament today. She stated that while all adults in the area selected for the pilot would be able access the program, those who live in deprived areas will be targeted.

Ms Throup referred back to other No10 measures to combat obesity, such the snack tax. However, she said that the Government also wants to reward good’ actions.

She stated that ‘Obesity policies cannot be about sticks. We must also reward healthy behaviors.

“If we get it right, it will be good news for our NHS, our economy, and our society.”


Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

According to the NHS, meals should be based on potatoes and other starchy carbs, ideally wholegrain.

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide