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Local Doctor Says Two Food Additives Can Ruin Diet

BOSTON (CBS) - Eat less, exercise more. That's the conventional wisdom when it comes to losing weight and one Meredith McSorley takes to heart. The 26-year-old is looking to lose another 10 pounds before summer arrives. And her trainer has a simple motto: working out with a good diet. But what if that's still not enough?

Renowned biochemist, Dr. Barbara Corkey of the Boston University School of Medicine, is trying to get to the bottom of what makes people put on weight. "Indeed people are eating more, that has changed and perhaps exercising less, that has changed. But there are all these 4,000 or more other things that no one is looking at," says Dr. Corkey. Those 4,000 other things are food additives. Additives to make food last longer, taste better, or look more appealing.

The doctor's theory: it's not just eating more food that makes us fat but what's in our food. "I think we can question what we are eating." Dr. Corkey has already zeroed in on two additives: monoglycerides, found in all types of foods like cream, peanut butter, and baked goods; And artificial sweeteners, like saccharin. The question Dr. Corkey wants to answer: are these additives affecting our metabolism, slowing it down, and eventually contributing to obesity and diabetes.

Her research is only beginning and she has her critics, but Dr. Corkey is convinced that if she can pinpoint a problem with any of these additives the industry will act. "If we, as scientists, identify things that are causing obesity I think that our food industry will get rid of them," she says. Maybe getting us one a step closer to a solution to the obesity epidemic. "Cure diabetes and obesity it's the only goal I've ever had," and one Dr. Corkey thinks is within reach.

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