Global warming, primarily caused by emissions of too much carbon dioxide, and climate change is a reality. This will lead to more extreme weather events with heatwaves and flooding. Some studies propose an association between thermal exposures and the prevalence of obesity with an increasing trend towards time spent in the thermal comfort zone. Longterm exposure to the thermal comfort zone can lead to a reduction of brown adipose tissue activity with an impact on energy expenditure and thermogenesis. Reduced seasonal cold exposure in combination with reduced diet-induced thermogenesis by a highly palatable high-fat and high-sugar diet and reduced physical activity contribute to the prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
Keywords: Brown fat; Cold; Cryotherapy; Metabolic rate; Obesity; Temperature.