A newly discovered chemical connection between chronic stress and fat could help curb obesity— or grow fat in places like breasts for cosmetic purposes, the Washington Post reports. Scientists found that stressed-out mice on a rodent junk-food diet grew the fattest, and that injecting or blocking a stress neurotransmitter can induce, or reduce, weight gain.
Researchers believe the finding may help explain obesity in societies where chronic stress is rampant. "There's a lot of uncontrollable stress in our societies and a lot of inexpensive high-fat food," said one researcher. The international team is already pursuing a patent and negotiating with drug companies. Studies on people could begin in two years. (Read more fat stories.)