Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Is Central Heating Related To Obesity?"

Most of the time I like Mark Sisson's work, but I'm not buying this one:

"A recent study out of the journal Obesity Reviews notes that it’s not just diet and activity levels that have changed in correlation with rising obesity numbers, but ambient temperature. To be more specific, people are heating their homes at all hours of the day, even as they sleep, and spending less time outdoors exposed to the elements. Central heating is more common, while space heaters, fireplaces, and electric heaters are less common, meaning the entire house gets and stays warm. People in developed countries exist in relative thermoneutrality: a nice 68-72 degrees F. The authors guess that with less exposure to thermal stress, we’re burning fewer calories. Our bodies have an easier time regulating our internal temperatures, and expend less energy doing so."

If it were true that high ambient temperature was related to obesity, then people at the equator should all be obese.  That's not the case. Ergo, this fails the plausibility test.

Next theory...