Keep your window open at night to avoid obesity and type 2 diabetes, says Oxford professor


Opening your bedroom window at night to allow a flow of cool breeze could prevent obesity and Type 2 diabetes, an Oxford University professor has suggested.

Professor of Endocrinology Ashley Grossman said there was increasing evidence that cooling the body by just a few degrees was also beneficial for health.

He has revealed this after a new study by Dutch scientists that has established a link between global warming and diabetes.

The researchers noticed that a one-degree centigrade increase in environmental temperature could result in 100,000 new cases of diabetes in the US every year because the body needed to burn less brown fat to keep warm, causing insulin sensitivity and obesity.

Prof Grossman said the study supported the ‘keep cool’ theory of reducing diabetes and obesity.

The latest study by Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands alerted turning the thermostat down to between 15 C and 17 C for a few hours a day to keep reduce weight.

The researchers say that because we spend much time indoors, mostly in overheated homes and offices, our bodies do not burn calories naturally to keep warm. Temperatures closer to the outside temperatures can have more health benefits.

Being colder increases the metabolic rate – the rate at which calories are burnt – by 30 per cent and shivering can burn about 400 calories per hour as it increases the metabolic rate by five times.

The new study by Leiden University Medical Center, which was published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, has noticed that  global rise in temperature was contributing to the type 2 diabetes epidemic.

About two-thirds of Britons are overweight or obese and some 3.6 million people suffer mostly from Type 2 diabetes.

The human body includes two types of fat, white and brown. The white fat store’s calories, brown fat is converted into energy and heat so by keeping our body cool is expected to trigger brown fat, and help in weight loss.

Although the link between a cold body and diabetes is moderately well established, researchers claim the thought that it might be linked to climatic change was unusual.

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, said: “Even if these estimates holds true, it would indicate that 2 degrees rise in average temperature was linked with an increased incidence of diabetes of 0.7 percent.