Scientists from the University of Nottingham claimed to have found a way of fighting obesity with a pioneering technique which uses thermal imaging to trace reserves of brown fat in the body.
Brown fat which produces large amounts of heat plays a key role in how quickly a body can burn calories.
"Potentially the more brown fat you have or the more active your brown fat is you produce more heat and as a result you might be less likely to lay down excess energy or food as white fat," Michael Symonds, Professor of Developmental Physiology in the School of Clinical Sciences who led the research said.
By tracing levels of brown fat in a person and examining how active it is, the technique will determine whether a particular food will increase or decrease heat production within brown fat in the body.
In other words, whether it would speed up or slow down the amount of calories we burn.
"This completely non-invasive technique could play a crucial role in our fight against obesity. Potentially we could add a thermogenic index to food labels to show whether that product would increase or decrease heat production within brown fat," he said.
The research has been published in the Journal of Pediatrics.