Researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain have discovered that those who live at a high altitude are less likely to become overweight or obese.
What research was undertaken?
In the study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague the researchers looked at the results of 9,300 Spanish students who were a healthy weight.
The researchers looked at the volunteers over an eight and a half year period, with each volunteer split into 3 separate groups based on the altitude that they lived.
- Low altitude – those who lived below 124 metres above sea level
- Medium – 124-456 metres above sea level
- High – 456 metres above sea level
What were the results?
Of those researched, over 2,000 of the volunteers became overweight over the 8 and a half year time period. Although those who lived in the high altitude group were less likely to gain weight.
In fact this group were 13% less likely to become overweight or obese.
What caused these results?
The reason for these results is possibly due to hypoxia being experienced by those at the higher altitude.
Hypoxia is when you experience low oxygen intake that can cause an increase in your bodies production of leptin, along with other hormones that can cause a reduction in your appetite.
Dr Maria Bes-Rastrollo, the lead author of the study had this to say about the results:
“It is encouraging to see this effect occurred at only 450 metre altitude. The results are in agreement with potential biological mechanisms that are caused by hypoxia.”
While it is interesting to learn that our altitude has a bearing on our weight there are countless other factors involved in weight gain and weight loss.
If you have gained a few pounds and are looking to lose a few then I am sure that moving to a higher altitude will not be the solution.