"We used to think obesity was a condition that only affected people with glandular problems, but health officials are now seeing just how widespread the epidemic is," Hampton said. "There's a myth that obese people don't want to change. They do?they just lack the information about how to do it quickly and easily."
Kim's research team has explored preventative measures.
"It would be wonderful if we could find some way to prevent individuals from getting this horrible condition in the first place, perhaps with something akin to a vaccine or a flu shot," Kim said. "We've pursued every avenue?pills, topical creams, nutritional shakes, even holistic cures like vitamin regimens and massage?but nothing has worked."
While others might have been discouraged by failure, Kim has intensified his efforts.
"I'm in the lab day and night," Kim said. "The other researchers will say 'Come have dinner with us,' but I'm so busy that I have to just grab some yogurt from the vending machine. I'm just too busy running over to the research facility on the west side of campus or carrying samples to the lab up on the fourth floor. I've lost 20 pounds since starting this project in January."
Even though he expressed concern about his recent weight loss, Kim said he will continue his work unabated.