New research suggests that being skinny puts you at more risk for health problems when it’s very cold outside.
Hitting the gym for a healthier you, trying a new diet, or maybe you’re naturally thin because of genetics. For you, Professor Jagdish Khubchandani says cold weather definitely isn’t your friend.
“All the organs like the heart, the kidney, the liver are protected inside, and the bones, muscles, and the fat protect those organs, that are crucial to our functioning. If you have less fat you have less insulation and you can have too much cold inside the heart, liver, kidney, internal organs and then they become dysfunctional,” explains, Dr. Khubchandani, Community Health Professor, Ball State University.
This research has been ongoing for the past two years. It looks at men and women age 18 to 25.
Khubchandani says, “This is also a group that goes out to party and they rely on alcohol other drugs and you see they get a false sense of being ok because alcohol makes you feel warm, but actually it makes you lose body heat especially when you are thinner and thinner.”
Professor Khubchandani says a body fat range of 15 to 20 percent is the lowest you should go and still be healthy. Anything beyond that mixed with cold weather could bring on harmful side effects.
“People breathe faster, they have a high heart rate, they get confused, their reflexes are slow, they become weak,” Khubchandani adds.
The study shows white women, especially those who are athletic or have been diagnosed with an eating disorder are at the greatest risk of cold weather illnesses.