Hard To Swallow, Animal Experiments For Obesity
Obesity is a major social and health issue afflicting 300 million people worldwide, responsible for more than 9,000 premature deaths per year in the United Kingdom. Animal research conducted in the name of obesity, however, causes animal suffering and is also a distraction from the real dietary and lifestyle issues that need to be addressed.
A range of animal experiments are conducted in the name of obesity. In the United Kingdom, research primarily involves rodents and non-human primates used in invasive brain research or the genetic modification of rodents to produce obese animals.
With respect to obesity research, the Dr Hadwen Trust believes that animal experiments are scientifically inappropriate and that it is not possible to replicate the same factors in animals that exist in humans. Invasive research on the brains of animals is not directly relevant to human obesity for a number of reasons.
The Dr Hadwen Trust argues that understanding the disease of obesity and finding a cure will come from changes in societal attitudes, foods, and their composition, in addition to human patterns of activity. Non-invasive and human volunteer-based research can provide more relevant data to understand human appetite.