A new drug that will help people to curb their sweet cravings has been developed by Oz researchers.
The new drug is expected to fight overeating by making sweet food less pleasurable.
Food stimulated the same reward pathways in the brain as drugs of addiction such as heroin and cocaine, said Michael Cowley, director of the Obesity and Diabetes Institute at Monash University, Melbourne.
He also said that for some people, food cravings were a major reason for weight problems.
"People who say they have food cravings tend to uniformly crave sweet food. The reward pathways of their brain are activated quite strongly when they eat sugary food," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Cowley as saying.
Cowley's new drug works by changing the way the reward pathways react.
"We have developed a drug which works on those pathways," said Cowley.
"People who have used it in our trials have lost weight because they feel they have better control over what they eat. It changes the way their brain reacts to foods so they feel less compelled to eat," he added.
The US Food and Drug Administration are assessing the drug.
Professor Cowley insisted that the drug is not a magic bullet. Individuals need to take action on their diet and exercise levels, supported by federal, state and local government projects.
"There are many, many reasons why people become overweight or obese and, equally, there are many, many ways to address the problem," said Cowley.