svelte ˈsvelt, ˈsfelt adjective
1. being of delicate or slender build
2. moving and bending with ease
3. showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience
The word svelte has appeared in 23 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Sept. 10 in “Seeking an Obesity Cure, Researchers Turn to the Gut Microbiome” by Anahad O’Connor:
Scientists have known for some time that the microbiomes of obese and lean people differ in striking ways. Obesity, insulin resistance and fatty liver disease are associated with less microbial diversity and higher levels of a group of organisms called Firmicutes. It is not clear whether the obesity and diseases come first or vice versa. But there are indications that the microbiome plays an important role.
Scientists have found differences in the gut bacteria of children as young as 6 months old that can predict future weight gain. Studies of obese mice show that they harbor gut microbes that are better able to harvest energy from food, and when their microbiota are transplanted into the guts of lean mice, the svelte recipients gain weight.