Army Wants to Fight Obesity—With Fat Injections

New research award asks companies for a way to generate 'good' brown fat
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 2:23 PM CST
The US Army is hoping to shrink its soldiers.   (shutterstock)

(Newser) – The Army thinks its troops are getting too fat, and it's hoping to solve that problem with science. In its latest round of small-business research awards, the Army has asked companies to find a way to slim down its soldiers by injecting them with fat. Confused? Well, as Wired explains, your body has two kinds of fat cells, or adipose tissue: white adipose tissue, which is what we normally think of as fat, and brown adipose tissue, which helps you lose weight.

Brown fat not only burns tons of calories, it draws that energy out of traditional fat cells. Research suggests that you can build brown fat through exercise, but the Army is looking for a quick fix, so researchers will attempt to generate this good fat from cells in a lab, then transplant it into soldiers. Of course, effortless weight loss probably sounds pretty good to civilians, too, and indeed, one Boston-based company is already working on a commercial treatment. (Read more stories on the relatively new discovery of brown fat in humans here.)

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