Is Your House Making You Fat?


Turn down the thermostat

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(Lew Robertson/iStockphoto)

Keeping your home too warm could be making you fat, suggests a recent study published in Obesity Reviews. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the prevalence of central heating has increased in step with obesity rates: Exposure to cold causes people to generate their own heat, often by shivering—and that, in turn, helps burn calories. There's no need for your home to feel like an igloo, but lower the thermostat a tad and your waistline could benefit. Most living rooms in the United States, for example, are heated to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Dropping the temperature to 60 degrees could increase energy expenditure by 100 or 200 calories a day—enough to shed a pound or so over a few weeks.

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