Now a way to keep hunger at bay

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London, Feb 2 (UNI) For all those who want to lose weight, scientists are working on a plant extract which could be added to junk food to keep hunger at bay for a longer time.

The ingredient would help dieters stick to smaller portions and combat obesity. It is found naturally in most plants, seeds and cereals, and could be added to fast food to suppress the appetite for up to 12 hours.

The compound works by coating fat before it is digested, stopping the enzymes that naturally break it down from working as fast as usual.

This sends a signal to the brain that a person has had enough to eat, even though their stomach may only be half full.

Head of the project Dr Peter Wilde said, ''We are not just talking about foods with oats in, this could be added to ready-meals, sauces like mayonnaise and even sugary drinks to make you eat less for the next 12 hours.'' Experts at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, who are yet to start tests in humans, hope to work with food manufactures in a couple of years to develop the supplement.

But they think that manufacturers may be reluctant to add an ingredient that actually puts people off their products.

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