Regular exercise, a good diet and cutting back on booze all come highly recommended, but a team of researchers has found another possible strategy for preventing obesity: head for the hills.
Spanish researchers have found that people who live at high altitudes are 13% less likely to become overweight or obese, the Independent reported.
Experts believe the phenomenon may result from the body's natural response to low-oxygen environments, suppressing hunger and enabling us to obtain energy from less oxygen, and less food.
Lead researcher Maira Bes-Rastrollo, of the University of Navarro, said that while it might not be realistic to expect everyone to move further uphill to reduce obesity levels, it is encouraging to see this effect occurred at only 450m altitude. The results are in agreement with potential biological mechanisms that are caused by hypoxia.