In obesity, cells called adipocytes increase. Adipocytes are fat cells and are the main make-up of adipose, or fat, tissue. These cells, along with adipose tissue as a whole, help store energy from food as fat. An increase in food consumption leads to an increase in storage of energy and a subsequent increase in total adipocytes.
It has been hypothesized that a decrease in the number of adipocytes can help in weight loss and help with weight maintenance. This decrease in adipocytes would be achieved through inducing apoptosis, or cell death, of the adipocytes.