The amount of sleep a person has, or their exposure to air conditioning may be as important causes of obesity as diet and exercise, according to a review article published this week by International Journal of Obesity. This could have implications for both the treatment and prevention of obesity.
David B. Allison and colleagues reviewed several studies on the impact of food marketing practices and institutionally driven reductions in physical activity on promoting increases in obesity, and found that the data are far from conclusive. They went on to review data regarding 10 other putative causes of obesity that are less often considered, but for which the data are at least equally compelling. These factors included the average hours of sleep that people have, the prescribing of psychotropic medications, and the use of air conditioning and heating.
This review introduces 10 novel hypotheses regarding factors that may have contributed to the rise of the obesity epidemic, and suggests the need for a more broad-reaching and open-minded inquiry on putative contributing factors.
David Allison (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA)
(C) International Journal of Obesity press release.
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