America's Obesity Crisis:Pills in the Pipeline

Drug treatments for obesity may not be far off, but don't expect one prescription to fit all

Doctors used to joke that the best way to combat obesity was to build up your biceps ... in order to push yourself away from the table. Then came the discovery in 1995 of genes that regulate leptin, the hormone that controls how much fat your body stores. Since then, scientists have identified dozens of compounds related to weight, some released in the brain and others in the gut.

All of which has set off a pharmaceutical feeding frenzy, because every compound scientists can identify as weight related represents a potential target for drug development. And any drug that can...

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