The success of obesity treatment could be linked to a person's neural activity.
This is the main conclusion from a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, which revealed that successful weight loss patients had a higher amount of nerve activity when at rest than those who did not lose weight.
Scientists observed these differences in 42 overweight people on a 12-week course of dietary changes at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne.
"We have demonstrated for the first time that resting muscle sympathetic nerve activity is a significant independent predictor of weight-loss outcome in a cohort of overweight or obese subjects," said Nora Straznicky, the study's lead author.
She believes that the findings could be used to develop new obesity treatments by stimulating nerve activity in a patient.
According to the Department of Health, obesity can increase the chances of a person developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.