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Sierra Daily

Mar 19, 2012

Rising Sea Levels and Expanding Bellies

IStock_000018115156XSmallAfter studying the development of obesity over 22 years, Danish researchers have concluded that CO2 may be making people fat. Both fat and thin people taking part in long-term MONICA  (“Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease) studies added weight in amounts equivalent to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

What may be happening, according to Lars-Georg Hersoug, now a post-doc at the Research Centre for Prevention and Health at Glostrup University Hospital, is that orexins, a hormone in the brain that stimulates wakefulness and energy expenditure, may be affected by CO2.

Further studies are in under way, but the theory is apparently no excuse to stop exercising, however:  “If you’re out running, you get your blood circulating and you can pump much of the CO2 out of your body, so our hypothesis is really further evidence that exercise is healthy,” Hersoug says.

--Reed McManus / Photo by iStock/imagedepotpro

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