Daylight can kick-start fat burning
Spending time outside could help dieters lose weight, according to scientists at the University of Nottingham.
Researchers found that daylight can kick-start a fat burning mechanism in the body. A particular type of fat known as brown adipose tissue (or BAT) transfers energy into heat and this boosts calorie burning. The scientists found that by spending time outside, where it is colder, this reaction is boosted and so dieters lose weight.
Professor Michael Symonds, from the University of Nottingham, said the study had shown for the first time that daylight is a major factor in controlling brown fat activity.
He said: ‘Our research has suggested a previously unknown mechanism for controlling brown fat function in humans and this could potentially lead to new treatments for the prevention or reversal of obesity.
‘Our exciting new findings may help us find novel interventions aimed at promoting brown fat activity particularly in the winter.’
Winter was traditionally a time of the year that was accompanied with increased thermal demands and thus energy expenditure, but the body’s requirements for brown fat has been reduced in recent times by central heating and the effects of global warming.