Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Turn the heating down and use your brown fat instead.

Ever wonder about the size of people coming out of their homes? Ever wonder about women always moaning about feeling cold, demanding that the heating is switched on or turned up? Ever wonder why fat people moan about the cold but slimmer people just get on with life? Well, research has been done and having the heating on high could also pile extra pounds on your weight. Experts say many of us now keep our homes so cosy that we no longer have to burn as many calories to naturally warm up our bodies. The research, in the journal Obesity Reviews, said there was a direct link between ‘reduced exposure to seasonal cold and increases in obesity in the UK and U.S.’.

If the body is already warm it does not need to convert a ‘brown’ fat known as adipose ­tissue into energy to generate heat, the study said. Brown fat was previously thought to be present only in infants, playing a vital role in keeping them warm, but recent research found it also in adults. This latest study suggested that prolonged exposure to comfortable warm temperatures may permanently reduce the body’s ability to burn this brown fat. Lead author Fiona Johnson said: ‘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. This reduces the time our bodies spend under mild thermal stress – meaning we’re burning less energy.'

...So, there you have it. Turn the heating down woman and use your brown fat, I can see you have plenty already! We as a species have evolved over the years and have this ability to burn fat to keep us warm in winter, so use it.


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