An experiment done by Johnson, Mavroggiani, M. Ucci, A. Vidal-Puig, and J. Wardle suggests that,”Reduced exposure to seasonal cold may have a dual effect on energy expenditure, both minimizing the need for physiological thermogenesis and reducing thermogenic capacity.”
The authors also discuss the role of brown adipose tissue (brown fat) in human heat production. Brown fat has an ability to burn energy and create heat unlike white fat, and its development in the body is triggered by exposure to low temperatures. Recent studies suggest that increased time spent in warm conditions may lead to a loss of brown fat, and therefore reduced capacity to burn energy.
University College London (press release 24 Jan 2011).
“Could increased time spent in a thermal comfort zone contribute to population increases in obesity?”
F. Johnson, A. Mavroggiani, M. Ucci, A. Vidal-Puig and J. Wardle.
Swati Patel, Vertices, intern