Something as simple as eating spicy food could help you lose a few inches off your waistline, according to a new study.
Scientists believe that capsaicin, an active ingredient found in chillies, could help aid weight-loss by speeding up metabolism and increasing energy expenditure.
Nearly two-thirds of men and women in the UK are obese or overweight, according to data collected by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
"Obesity is caused by an imbalance between calorie intake and energy dissipation," explained Vivek Krishnan, a graduate student working at the University of Wyoming's School of Pharmacy, who carried out the study.
"In our bodies, white fat cells store energy and brown fat cells serve as thermogenic machinery to burn stored fat. Eating calorie-rich food and a lack of physical activity cause an imbalance in metabolism that leads to obesity."
Scientists found that feeding a small amount of dietary capsaicin to wild mice helped to prevent weight gain. They now believe that it could also suppress high fat diet-induced obesity.
Researchers revealed that while dietary capsaicin didn't increase the amount of food or water that the mice consumed, it did significantly increase their metabolism and energy expenditure.
They now hope to make a diet pill to help prevent and treat obesity.
[H/T Daily Star]