Nav: Home

Lower home temperature in winter is associated with lower waist measurement

April 01, 2016

Boston, MA-- Elderly adults are bigger around the middle when they turn up the heat inside their homes during the cold season and have smaller waistlines when their homes stay cool, new research finds. Investigators from Japan will present their study results Friday at the Endocrine Society's 98th annual meeting in Boston.

"Although cold exposure may be a trigger of cardiovascular disease, our data suggest that safe and appropriate cold exposure may be an effective preventive measure against obesity," said the study's lead investigator, Keigo Saeki, MD, PhD, of Nara Medical University School of Medicine Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Nara, Japan.

Cold exposure activates thermogenesis, to generate body heat, in brown fat. This type of fat is the good calorie-burning fat that prior research found most humans have. However, Saeki said the association between the amount of cold exposure and obesity in real life remains unclear.

He and his colleagues used data from 1,103 participants in the HEIJO-KYO study, a community-based study in Japan, to investigate the association between housing environment and health in home-dwelling older adults. The participants had an average age of 72, and all stayed home in the daytime. Almost 47 percent of the group were men.

For each year of the study (2010 to 2014), the subjects underwent measurement of their abdominal, or waist, circumference before the study began in October and after it ended in April. Waist circumference measures belly fat and can help predict the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Additionally, the researchers measured the participants' indoor home temperature every 10 minutes for one 48-hour period in the daytime during the same cold season. The average temperature outside on the measurement days was about 48 degrees Fahrenheit, or 8.7 degrees Celsius, the investigators reported. Participants were divided into four groups based on their average indoor temperature during the daytime.

Results showed that the 64 participants whose indoor temperatures were lowest (50°F or lower/10°C or lower) had an average waist circumference of 32 inches (81.3 cm). Their waist measurement was 1.4 inches smaller than that of the 164 participants with the highest housing temperature (68°F or higher/20°C or higher), whose waistlines measured 33.4 inches (84.9 cm) on average. This difference was statistically significant, according to the researchers, and remained significant when they adjusted for factors including age, sex, physical activity, total calorie intake and socioeconomic status.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the risk of disease is high with a waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women (88 cm) and more than 40 inches (102 cm) for men.

According to Saeki, to establish a safe and appropriate cold exposure for prevention from obesity, we need further study about the minimum amount of cold exposure to activate calorie-burning brown fat.
-end-
Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society, which is celebrating its centennial in 2016, has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

The Endocrine Society

Related Obesity Articles:

Obesity is in the eye of the beholder
Doctors have a specific definition of what it means to be overweight or obese, but in the social world, gender, race and generation matter a lot for whether people are judged as 'thin enough' or 'too fat.'
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
Three in 4 don't know obesity causes cancer
Three out of four (75 percent) people in the UK are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer, according to a new Cancer Research UK report published today.
Obesity on the rise in Indonesia
Obesity is on the rise in Indonesia, one of the largest studies of the double burden of malnutrition in children has revealed.
Obesity rates are not declining in US youth
A clear and significant increase in obesity continued from 1999 through 2014, according to an analysis of data on United States children and adolescents age 2 to 19 years.
How does the environment affect obesity?
Researchers will be examining how agricultural and food processing practices may affect brown fat activity directly or indirectly.
Obesity Day to highlight growing obesity epidemic in Europe
The growing obesity epidemic, which is predicted to affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030, will be the focus of European Obesity Day to be held on May 21.
Understanding obesity from the inside out
Researchers developed a new laboratory method that allowed them to identify GABA as a key player in the complex brain processes that control appetite and metabolism.
Epigenetic switch for obesity
Obesity can sometimes be shut down.
Immunological Aspects of Obesity
This FASEB Conference focuses on the interactions between obesity and immune cells, focusing in particular on how inflammation in various organs influences obesity and obesity-related complications.

Related Obesity Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Don't Fear Math
Why do many of us hate, even fear math? Why are we convinced we're bad at it? This hour, TED speakers explore the myths we tell ourselves and how changing our approach can unlock the beauty of math. Guests include budgeting specialist Phylecia Jones, mathematician and educator Dan Finkel, math teacher Eddie Woo, educator Masha Gershman, and radio personality and eternal math nerd Adam Spencer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#518 With Genetic Knowledge Comes the Need for Counselling
This week we delve into genetic testing - for yourself and your future children. We speak with Jane Tiller, lawyer and genetic counsellor, about genetic tests that are available to the public, and what to do with the results of these tests. And we talk with Noam Shomron, associate professor at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, about technological advancements his lab has made in the genetic testing of fetuses.