Temperature linked to obesity

2011-02-24 12:31
New York - Cooler homes and a better night's sleep might help rein in the current obesity epidemic, according to an Italian study.

When researchers led by Simona Bo at the University of Turin in Italy followed more than a thousand middle-aged adults over six years, they found that sleep habits were related to the risk of obesity - with the odds of their becoming obese declining by 30% for each hour of sleep people typically got.

This was true even when other factors such as physical activity level and TV watching were taken into account, according to the study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Then there was temperature. Compared to people who kept their homes no warmer than 20°C in the autumn and winter, those who liked a toastier home were twice as likely to become obese.

"Relatively unexplored contributors to the obesity and diabetes epidemics may include sleep restriction, increased house temperature, television watching, consumption of restaurant meals, use of air-conditioning and use of antidepressant/antipsychotic drugs," wrote Bo and her colleagues.

Temperature


The more often people ate at restaurants each week, the greater their likelihood of becoming obese, while those who got little fibre in their diets were at greater risk of developing abnormally high blood sugar levels.

Why would indoor temperature matter? The body burns more calories when it has to work to maintain a stable temperature, said David Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Centre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"I wouldn't say to anyone that if you turn down your thermostat, you'll lose weight," said Allison, who was not involved in the current study.

On the other hand, things like home temperature - which the current study is the first to connect with the risk of obesity - and sleep habits are lifestyle factors that "you can play with" in managing weight, he added.

A number of past studies have already linked excess weight and chronic sleep deprivation, typically defined as less than six hours per night.

One theory is that the hormonal effects of sleep loss are to blame, or that sleep-deprived people may eat or drink more in an effort to boost their energy levels.

Antidepressants

Allison, in a 2006 study of his own on air conditioning and obesity rates, cited a number of modern-life factors that could be contributing to rising obesity, including widespread use of antidepressants and other medications that can promote weight gain, and industrial chemicals that may alter hormone activity.

"No one factor is going to explain the obesity problem," he said.

As for lowering the thermostat, he added: "You'll almost certainly reduce your energy bills."
Read more on:    health  |  research
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.