Higher Indoor Temperatures Help Us Stay Slim According to a New Scientific Study

Abundant food on the table is one of the customs during holiday celebrations. People who are worried about putting on weight should be careful with the portions but they can also apply the recommendations of a new medical study on reducing body fat.

According to researchers from Stirling Management School's Behavioural Science Centre, people who live in warm homes are less likely to be overweight and usually have lower body mass index (BMI) levels than those who avoid switching on the central heating unless it’s freezing cold.

This research contradicts a previous hypothesis about the positive effect of shivering on our body shape.

The study, published in the medical journal Obesity, checked the body mass index (BMI) of the participants and showed that those who enjoy an indoor temperature of 73.4 degrees F (23 degrees C) on a regular basis had lower BMI levels than people who keep their homes cooler.

The study encompassed 100,000 adults who used central heating from 1995 to 2007. While processing the data, various factors were taken into account: excessive calorie intake and low levels of physical activity, as well as other demographic, environmental and health behavior variables, yet these did not reduce the link between high indoor temperature and a reduced BMI.

Michael Daly, one of the researchers, explains:

"This research suggests the obesity epidemic could worsen where heating is turned down below comfortable levels, or off, for lengthy periods to cut costs. The temperature range of 68.5 to 73.4 degrees F (20.3 to 23 degrees C) provides the greatest comfort - in which we are not hot or cold. At temperatures above this, we expend more energy and we eat less because our appetite is suppressed.”

There will be further studies on the issue to establish the potential causal nature of the link between higher indoor temperatures and lower levels of BMI.


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