Because life is a series of edits

Dern, It’s Hot

In Places & Spaces, Thought on July 17, 2006 at 1:23 pm

We’re supposed to be in the upper-90’s to low-hundreds most of the week here in St. Louis, and I confess there’s little I want to do other than stay inside somewhere and chill. Feeling my sluggish tendencies this morning, I made myself go with Megan to our YMCA to do something physical for an hour, but that’s about it (and even that was in air-conditioning).

I’ve been paying attention to the temperature and its effects a little more this summer, partly because I’m “feeling it” more than I used to (no longer living in Colorado Springs at 6,200-ft. makes the humidity that much stickier), and partly because the high temperatures have been in the news with Al Gore and company and their global warming movie, An Inconvenient Truth, which I haven’t seen (but want to).

Another of the reasons I’ve been thinking about the weather lately is this story from a few weeks ago on research postulating that one of the “drivers of the obesity tsunami” in America as “air conditioning, which establishes a comfortable temperature zone. In temperatures above this zone, people eat less. The rise in number of air-conditioned homes in the United States virtually mirrors the increase in the US obesity rate.”

Experientially, I would certainly affirm the theory – I don’t eat nearly as much when I’m hot, and I’ve wondered if maybe we ought to turn off the AC and turn on the fans for the sake of my waistline. My African friends in Uganda (where it’s warm/hot year-round) only eat twice a day (and less when they do) because of the heat, and they are all quite thin and trim.

What do you think? Anything to this idea? If so, does it motivate you to do anything different in your lifestyle, or are you content as long as you’re cool this summer?

  1. Step away from the air conditioning, my friend. Do NOT touch that dial…

  2. I say pshaw– I knew plenty of southern folks who were way overweight, and it gets (and stays) plenty hot where I come from.

    My twist on the theory is this: where air conditioning has contributed/coincided has been with the rise of white-collar work, whereas prior to air conditioning most folks were not desk-sitters. Workin’ for the man will keep the pounds off, but if you’re going to be a pencil-pusher (or keyboard-puncher) then you’d better be in the air conditioning.

  3. I say it’s the cheapest diet plan I’ve heard of and perhaps you could find a way to market it?!

  4. interesting post. makes me want to turn off my ac unit, kinda, and then i also want to see a movie made by al gore with you. these are both two things that would have never had been on my radar this time last year. i should eat more jello.

  5. good point. i spent some time in the solomon islands 2 years ago and thought about the same thing in regards to air conditioning and weight gain/loss. however the heat this week is almost unbearable down here in mayfield.

    my wife and i saw the al gore film (an inconvient truth) last week and we thought it was a great eye opener and overall a very good film. i had a few issues with it. but will remain silent on them until you’ve seen it then i’d love to chat it up. anyway maybe someday soon i’ll find a J-O-B up in your neck of the woods and we can hang out.

    -andy (a friend of caleb and greg’s)

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