A new injection that could prevent obesity could be available within the next five years, according to new research.

Scientists believe they have isolated the so-called 'hunger hormone', ghrelin, and hope to control how the body absorbs glucose with a new jab.

"Body weight is controlled by hormones in our gut, which affect how hungry we feel and are also linked to the brain's pleasure centre," said Dr Rachel Batterham of the Medical Research Council. "Weight control surgery affects these hormone levels, so we are now hoping to recreate those hormonal changes in treatments."

Batterham, who is based at University College London, made the announcement at British Association Festival of Science in Liverpool.

The technology, which has already begun human trials, could also be used to treat diabetes, the research team has suggested.