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Hamsters – like humans – gain weight under stress

Lee Smith sent me this interesting argument.

Syrian hamsters provide a model for human obesity research because they eat more and gain weight when exposed to stress and, like humans, add fat to their abdomens – visceral fat. Visceral fat is unhealthy because it affects internal organs and is associated with diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. Researchers can use hamsters to help determine if drugs can block stress-induced obesity by blocking release of hormones that kick off physiological responses causing obesity.

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