During the hot summer months as soon as we return home from work the first thing we do is turn on the air conditioner. Yes it helps to keep us cool and comfortable, but seldom do we actually think that it can have effects that are harmful to us. But as recent research shows, air conditioners can actually make us fat.
The most modern of technologies like air conditioning and heating make us live in a thermoneutral zone. What this means is that we get used to living at a temperature where there is no need for our body to regulate its temperature. It is only when our body’s temperature is below or above this thermoneutral zone that it works to attain that level. In the process it needs energy and as a result it has to burn calories supplied by our body.
In fact David Allison, the director of Clinical Nutrition Research Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham holds that the air conditioner might be one of the several factors that are behind the obesity problem that has reached almost epidemic proportions in America.
He actually enlists a number of factors that can be contributing to this obesity explosion besides fast food and lack of exercise. These include lack of sleep, certain medications and even things like quitting smoking as it can increase snacking when the individual becomes desperate for a comfort food.
It is suggested that the use of air conditioners should be restricted as much as possible. Since most, if not all modern offices come with air conditioners these days, it wouldn’t be possible for a working individual to avoid the effects of air conditioning all day. But at least when he is home, he can limit the use of the air conditioner. He can fix a certain time in the day, only when he will allow himself the comforts of the air conditioner. The rest of the time he has to do with a ceiling fan.
There are also skeptics who can’t quite buy this theory. Their argument is that, people all over the world are living in different climactic conditions and they still are thin. So air conditioning shouldn’t play a role. The skeptics also seem to have a point. So the whole topic needs further research.
At the end of the day, good eating habits and regular exercise are the best way to stay clear of obesity.