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How Scripps Florida Scientists Are Tackling Obesity, Plus Other New Weight Less Innovations

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter have been awarded $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify the brain circuits involved in weight control and to develop novel strategies to fight obsessive eating and obesity.

“Our long-term goal is to understand the mechanisms that govern control of energy balance in our bodies,” says Baoji Xu, the principal investigator of the new four-year study. “When we finally understand the processes that regulate that balance, we can exploit those findings to develop novel interventions for obesity.”

Obesity raises the risk of everything from stroke to diabetes and cancer. Research published last year in JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, a major increase over the last 20 years.

For the study, Xu and his colleagues will focus on a specific protein and its receptor that play a role in regulating the body’s energy balance. 


Local Palm Beach center one of first in country to offer a new, non-surgical weight loss tool

A new weight loss solution to assist adult patients suffering from obesity is now offered locally at the Digestive Center of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. The treatment, OBRERA, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for those with a body mass index of 30 to 40.

The weight loss system is a comprehensive non-surgical program that includes a balloon filling space in a patient’s stomach to reinforce proper portion control. The balloon remains in place for six months. During that time, patients receive diet and exercise coaching from a team of experts so that when the balloon is removed, they continue healthy habits for a lifetime. 

Data from the U.S. clinical trial showed that the average person lost 3.1 times the weight while using the OBRERA method compared with diet and exercise alone within six months.