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A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips? Not quite, but nearly; and faster. Have a big mac for lunch, and by tea time the fat will be on your middle. Scientists at Oxford University have discovered that fat from food can be converted into fatty tissue that sits on our waist and hips in as little as three hours, much quicker than previously thought. That’s how quickly you can get fat.
For the research, volunteers were given food that contained fatty acids that had been “marked” with slightly heavier isotopes of carbon that are easily tracked in the body, so scientists could follow their route. The study found that it took about an hour for the fats to be broken down in the gut, then entering the bloodstream as tiny droplets. These droplets were then carried around the body until caught by adipose cells in the waist and stored.
The good news is that this storage is temporary – the fat is broken down and used during exercise. But if the subjects continued to eat to excess and did not do enough activity, the fat will then be moved into long term storage around the hips, thighs and buttocks.