Everyone knows that too much fat makes us fat. But it seems more of the right kind could make you thinner - and that fat is brown fat.
This is one of the two types of fat found in the body. There is the more familiar white stuff, which sits under the skin on your tummy and thighs and is the result of eating too much.
Then there is brown fat - and its job is to generate heat. It does this by boosting your metabolism, so you then start to use up the ‘bad’ white fat.
It’s long been known that babies have brown fat around their shoulder blades to help them maintain their body temperature after birth.
But until recently it was thought this good fat disappeared in infancy because it was no longer needed.
Now it’s been shown that brown fat persists into adulthood. Not only that, some people - generally lean types - have more brown fat than others.
This could help explain why they remain a healthy weight without much effort, while others struggle to lose weight.
In fact, scientists think boosting brown fat stores could be a new approach to dealing with excess weight.