Thursday, January 27, 2011

Turn down that Thermostat??

I don't know what to make of this:
In a nutshell, new research is showing that warm houses in the Winter may be contributing to obesity. Here's what the article had to say:

TUESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Higher indoor temperatures during the winter may be contributing to rising rates of obesity in the United States and other developed countries, according to a new British study.

Reduced exposure to cold may affect the ability to maintain a healthy weight by minimizing the need for energy expenditure to stay warm, as well as reducing the body's capacity to produce heat, said the researchers.

They found that winter indoor temperatures in the United States and the United Kingdom have increased over the past few decades, which means people are spending more time in milder temperatures.

"Increased time spent indoors, widespread access to central heating and air conditioning, and increased expectations of thermal comfort all contribute to restricting the range of temperatures we experience in daily life and reduce the time our bodies spend under mild thermal stress -- meaning we're burning less energy. This could have an impact on energy balance, and ultimately have an impact on body weight and obesity," study author Fiona Johnson, a researcher in the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London, said in a UCL news release.

Here's my 2 cents. I've noticed that when it's too comfortable indoors, you don't go outdoors. If you stay indoors, you're more likely to sit and eat. If you go outdoors you're more likely to move. So maybe it's the lack of movement that is actually leading to the weight gain?

I've written in the past that I've gotten into the habit of leaving the air conditioning off for most of the summer. With it on, neither me or the kids went outside. With it off, I go out and putter in the garden, the kids will play on the swing set, etc.

As far as Winter goes, I live in a 19th century New England farmhouse, and there's just no getting the place warm. People always comment about how cold it is in here. I've adjusted by having warm sweaters, etc., but I always laugh at women who show up here wearing nothing but a thin silk blouse when it's 20 degrees or less outside.


  1. I totally agree. If it's too cold outside...I ain't goin' out there. I'm going go snuggle up under my electric blanket and eat ice cream from a box (not a bowl). And I despise going outside in the hot, humd, heat of summer! OMG! It ruins my hair and melts my make-up.

    I believe those reasons are why I'm plump!!! Well...that and my food addiction.

  2. I agree with the article and your point. I have foundit very good exercise though to go out and dig out the vehicles and I dont sweat as much. Plus it is much quieter than being inside with my 4 kiddos!

    P.S. You have an award on my blog!

  3. Plus, if I get really cold when I'm indoors, I'm more motivated to do squats or jump on the elliptical to warm up :)