For years, researchers have blamed a sedentary lifestyle and consumption of too much junk food for the plague of obesity throughout the U.S. (almost a quarter of Americans are now defined as obese). But a report by researchers at the University of Birmingham, AL, shows that weight problems are just as likely to be caused by air conditioning, lack of sleep, a decrease in the number of smokers (smoking suppresses appetite), and an increase in the number of babies born to older women. When people and animals go above or below a "thermoneutral" ambient temperature, they lose weight. If it's too cold, they burn fat to stay warm, and if too hot, their appetites decrease. But studies show that people are keeping their houses warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than they did a few decades ago, so these natural influences on weight are no longer in force. Research also shows that people who don't get enough sleep have larger appetites (the amount of sleep the average American adult has decreased from nine to seven hours in the last few decades).
I don't know how to resolve this without being uncomfortably cold or hot, but it's interesting. Any comments? Ideas?
Air Condiitioning is Usually Set Way Too Low. There is nothing worse than walking into an office building or store on a hot summer's day and getting blasted by cold, arctic air. I understand that in certain environments people need to be able to get along in "work clothes," but our air conditioning happiness has gone way too far. There is not much you can do about the air conditioning in an office building (other than complain), but at home you could not use it so much. Air conditioning also sucks up a lot of energy. Locally, my electric company is offering to install air conditioning switches that automatically regulate the use of the a/c in peak hours. The purpose is to mitigate blackouts (which we get here in Los Angeles if too many people turn on the a/c). Personally, I dislike using air conditioning unless it is seriously hot (90 degrees and humid). Fortunately, I don't need it where I live since it's usually a balmy 70s with a cool ocean breeze.
NO. Weight gain is not as simple as just intake of more calories. Yes eating more calories will make you gain weight but also stress, lack of sleep and lack of activity. However, from air conditioning no way. Some researchers are trying to find some other reasons to blame the obesity problem.
To keep a healthy weight eat a balance and healthy meals. Choose whole grains, eat fruits and vegetables, choose lean meats and add heart healthy fats moderately. Keep active and sleep!
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