A 'thin pill' that could cure obesity without surgery will be made available in 10 years' time, according to scientists.
The study by researchers at the University College London appears in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
The team discovered two proteins, called P2Y1 and P2Y11 that cause the stomach to expand slowly after eating, to accommodate a larger meal. Theoretically a drug that blocked this expansion could discourage a person from taking an increased amount of food.
According to UCL researcher Dr Brian King who said this is a brand new way of looking at weight control, "The mechanism of slow relaxation of the stomach might represent a future drug target in the fight to control weight gain and reverse obesity."
Currently obese people depend largely on gastric banding or stomach stapling to reduce the maximum volume of the stomach.
These surgical procedures however, have attendant risks and a new viable alternative will be useful.
World over, adult obesity rates have been steadily increasing in the last 25 years. Britain is the second nation of fat people in the world after the U.S.
With changing lifestyles 10 per cent of six-year-olds and 17 per cent of 15-year-olds are now found to be obese.
According to experts, unless urgent and serious measures are taken, an entire generation has to face serious health problems like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases brought on by obesity.