University establishes Center for Obesity Reversal

Georgia State recently established the Center for Obesity Reversal, according to a June 3 University news release.

Timothy Bartness, Georgia State Regents professor, world-renowned obesity researcher and the center’s Founding Director, said they are studying the ways to reverse obesity.

“Our goal is to determine the underlying mechanisms for the two ways to reverse obesity and then, based on those findings, partner with colleagues at medical schools who have access to human populations,” he said.

The two ways to reverse obesity are through decreasing food intake and increasing energy expenditure, the release states.

In 2012, more than one-third of U.S adults were obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The obesity epidemic costed the United State $147 billion dollars in 2008.

The researchers’ work includes the effects of obesity on breast cancer risk, diabetes, and fat cellularity, according to the center’s website.

They are also looking at the effects of diet on memory, the effects of the reward system on food intake and thermogenesis, the production of heat, the website states.

The center was created one month ago and is funded through grants, Bartness said.

“Most of the individual investigators have grants from the NIH [National Institute of Health] primarily but other sources. Because of that GSU sees it as a good investment so they also support us generously,” he said.

The center’s 10 primary faculty members receive a total of $3.6 million dollars in yearly grant funding, release states.

The primary investigators and associate members will collaborate with Emory University School of Medicine, the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University and the CDC to figure out clinical applications for their findings, according to the release.