We know turning down the thermostat is good for the environment and our bank balance, but now there's proof it's good for our dress size too
Turn down the heating, peel off that extra jumper and open a window, because while we love being warm and cosy in the depths of winter, new research suggests we may be getting a bit too cosy. The study, carried out at University College London found that our constant need for 'thermal comfort' could be throwing our bodies' ratio of white to brown fat off balance and making us fatter.
Brown fat, also known as adipose tissue, is considered 'good' because it protects our vital organs and generates its own heat, burning calories and energy in the process. White fat is the kind you can pinch and it does nothing, sadly, other than store energy and make us look larger.
Our body normally builds brown fat when it's cold, but turning up our thermostats means we're not giving it a chance; instead the amount of white fat we're producing has increased. As well as making us heavier, it could raise our risk of heart disease and cancer, too.
ZEST SAYS: Sure, we love to be warm, but if we're really honest, we probably don't step outside our comfort zone as much as we should. And if there was ever a good reason to face the January chill, the promise of losing a few pounds is it!
The first of its kind to look beyond eating and exercise habits to how environmental factors affect our weight, this study also shines a spotlight on the way modern-day life can have a negative impact on our health - and that's something we should all be more aware of.
In the meantime, tear yourself away from your cosy sitting room and take a long walk outside wearing one less layer than usual. And don't forget to turn down the heating once you get back.
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