By utilising a chemical in the brain which makes eating pleasurable, it should be possible to combat chronic obesity
among both adults and child, scientists working at the University of Manchester have suggested.
The team behind this newly-published paper have been working on identifying the chemical changes which give cannabis smokers 'the munchies'.
Now, having identified the peptide hemopressin as the specific chemical that neutralises the effects of eating for pleasure, the scientists have stated that this discovery could be used in the ongoing fight against chronic obesity.
"[This] could open up new avenues of treatment for obesity and alcohol dependency and save NHS cash," study leader Dr Garron Dodd explained in the Journal of Neuroscience.
He added, however, that more research needs to be done into the possible benefits of the peptide, including to what extent it could be used to combat obesity in the longer-term rather than in quick fixes.
According to the National Obesity Forum, there are currently three million overweight and obese children in the UK alone.