London, Feb 2 : 'Convenience' food will take a whole new eaning if British scientists are successful in developing what hey call fat-fighting ready-meals and snacks.
The appetite suppressant containing foods could appear in upermarkets within two years.
The approach, which the researchers are following, includes - ncorporation of hunger curbing plant chemicals called lipids nto a wide range of convenience foods such as cakes and iscuits.
Lipids exist in cereals including oats, which explains why a bowl f porridge keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
The research, led by Dr Peter Wilde, of the Institute of Food esearch in Norwich, is developing a way of isolating those ipids that are easily digested by the body and concentrating hem into a product that can be inserted into food.
"We are looking at how to change the satiety properties," the elegraph quoted him, as saying.
"We are trying to reduce appetite by using the body's own natural esponse rather than using an appetite suppressant drug," he dded.
Because our brains evolved thousands of years ago, when fat was carce, we have a big appetite for this high-calorie food. herefore, the scientists are trying to find a way to fool our rains into thinking we have consumed enough fat.
Lipids do this by interfering with lipase, an enzyme that breaks own fat in the digestive system. By slowing this breakdown, the ut believes it has consumed a larger amount of fat than it ctually has, causing a hormonal response that corresponds to eeling full.
The slower breakdown of fat also causes a gradual release of nergy into the body.
However, other experts challenged the demonisation of convenience" food.
Dr Becky Laing, from the Medical Research Council, said it was rong to categorise all convenience food as "junk".
"There are foods that fit this portrayal but there are many thers that don't," she said.
"If we continue to press the message that it is impossible to eat ealthily while using convenience foods, we simply make healthy ating unattainable. Instead, we need to press manufacturers to evelop more healthy but convenient options," she added.
The study is published in the International Journal of Obesity