Obesity, a problem that is so prevalent today, could be brought under control with lowered temperatures and good sleep habits, reports an Italian study.
The research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, was undertaken by a team of researchers led by Simona Bo at the University of Turin, Italy. It involved more than 1000 middle aged people, and researchers observed their habits for six years to come to this conclusion.
With each added hour of sleep, the chances of becoming obese decreased by 30 per cent. Chronic sleep deprivation, that is less than six hours of sleep each night is a serious factor in obesity because the hormonal levels are affected by a loss of sleep and also, sleep-deprived people may tend to keep their energy levels high by eating and drinking more.
And keeping homes stable at 20 C (68 F) during cold weather, and not increasing the temperatures, also minimized the risk of getting obese for as David Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, though not a part of the study, commented, more calories are burnt when the body has to exert to maintain a stable temperature.
Of course there are other factors too at work in this problem. Bo adds television watching, consumption of restaurant meals, use of air-conditioning and use of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs to the two that were under study in the recent research. Allison too mentions the effect of industrial chemicals on hormonal levels.
As he says, "No one factor is going to explain the obesity problem."