Monday, August 21, 2006

Air Conditioning May Cause Weight Gain

I can't remember exactly when, but a few weeks back I read something about air conditioning contributing to the obesity epidemic in the United States. I remember thinking that was pretty sensational, and probably wrong. Maybe the journalist who wrote that was just trying to come up with an extra excuse for America's bulging waistline to round out a list, and they knew it was a stretch.

Alas, I read at ABC News today that yes, there is a scientific reason for air conditioning (AC) contributing to obesity. According to the report, AC keeps our bodies in the "thermoneutral zone." When in this zone, our body doesn't have to expend energy to make us warmer or cool us down. It's basically a free ride, so our body stores the excess energy as fat.

I know what you're thinking. This is ridiculous! How many excuses do we need to come up with when we know the one answer is, "eat less and exercise more?" Well, think of it this way. The more causes we can identify for gaining weight, no matter how small or trivial, the more ways we can optimize our lives for maximum calorie expenditure.

4 comments:

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.