Blame your weight on the big chill

时间:2019-03-07 04:04:02166网络整理admin

By Jens Thomas IF YOU were born during a particularly cold winter, the chances are that you will end up getting fatter as you get older, say researchers in Southampton and Chicago. Although lifestyle and genetics obviously play an important role in whether you pile on the pounds, the influence of the environment on the fetus may also be have an impact, according to David Phillips of the Medical Research Council Environmental Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton and James Young of the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. “We’ve forgotten that environment in early life is important,” says Phillips. Phillips and his colleagues examined body mass index (BMI) data from 1750 men and women who had been born in Hertfordshire between 1920 and 1930 and had lived there all their lives. The BMI provides a measure of obesity. It is calculated by taking a person’s weight in kilograms and dividing by the square of their height in metres. Obese people have a larger BMI. The researchers then classified the winters between 1920 and 1930 as either “mild” or “cold”, and found that there was a marked increase in BMI among men born in cold winters. As the researchers will report in the International Journal of Obesity, the effect was also apparent for the women, though less pronounced. “We don’t properly understand why it occurs,” Phillips admits. He suggests the effect could arise from the cold setting limits on how hormones behave, possibly by influencing the thyroid gland. “Animal experiments suggest it’s relative, not absolute temperature that causes the effect,