Is Is “Fat Cell Expansion” a Cause of Obesity?

One of the last things we want to hear in a society where most of us work seated at a desk or table is our style of work may be a contributor to the current epidemic obesity.

But a report from an Asian news agency on research at an Israeli university says that when fat cells are subjected to sustained pressure, they develop more fat. So-called “cellular expansion,” which centers on the buttocks, most often comes from sitting for long periods of time.

What happens, according to the report from the Indo-Asian News Service, is that chronic pressure leads to an increase in lipid droplets, molecules that carry fats. The fat cells expand by as much as 50 percent, becoming stiffer and crowding out and deforming nearby cells.

In many cases, the increase in fat cell size and form can set a person on the road to obesity.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering think that their insight into fat cell mechanics may open the door for therapies designed to reduce body fat.

The news agency report is available at

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