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By Patrick Hendry | Unspalsh
By Patrick Hendry | Unspalsh
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Is Global Warming Making Us Fat and Unhealthy?

Picture of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor
Updated: 21 March 2017
Shivering is having a moment in wellness. Cryotherapy — a treatment that entails standing in a cauldron chilled to -264 degrees Fahrenheit — is being touted as a cure for all kinds of health ailments, as well as an efficient way to incinerate 800 calories in three minutes flat. Now a new study by Leiden University Medial Center in the Netherlands suggests that global warming may be responsible for the rise in cases of type 2 diabetes.

According to Leiden University Medial Center’s study, temperatures across the US from 1996 to 2009 rose in correlation with the number of diabetes cases.

“We calculated that a 1-degree Celsius rise in environmental temperature could account for more than 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone,” researcher Lisanne Blauw told CNN. “Future research into the effects of global warming on our health status is therefore of great importance.”

It’s not the first study to suggest that our increasingly balmy environment works to repress metabolism. Scientists believe our bodies contain two types of fat: White and brown. Brown fat, which burns calories to produce heat, is activated when our body temperature dips, which is why cryotherapy is so effective, and could even explain why Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories per day while training (being immersed in cold water for long periods of time forces the body to use more energy in an attempt to maintain equilibrium).

This study isn’t enough to establish a causal link, but it does contribute to the mounting evidence that cooling the body has health benefits — releasing endorphins, improving sleep, reducing inflammation, burning fat, and boosting immunity.