Study shows adults can grow new fat cells

October 5, 2010 2:49:15 PM PDT
For years it was thought that adults did not grow new fat cells. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say they are overturning that common wisdom.

Twenty-eight slender men and women were encouraged to gorge themselves on sweets. As they gained weight, the volunteers added new fat cells on their thighs while fat cells on their bellies expanded.

Surprisingly, researchers say the men and women were fairly even on the amount of weight gained on the thighs. Also, once they stopped overeating, the volunteers lost weight quickly.

Researchers are now hoping to better understand the genetic and environmental factors that cause leg fat cells to accumulate.