There are no Models any more; only “supermodels” and “weight loss contestants.” The woman in the silhouette photo at left may be an expensive sweetheart in many ways, but the physics says she’s at least easier to keep cool.
It’s almost a “duh” moment to reveal that skinny people stay cool at higher temperatures, I suppose. But since I stopped being skinny, I’ve been indulging in denial about my need for greater cooling comfort. At two hundred pounds of aging manhood, I suffer a bit more in the heat and humidity than I did a few years ago. And you?
A Hawaiian blogger from Hilo cites a study exploring the relationship between body mass and the need for more cooling. Apparently larger, heavier people expend fewer calories through normal indoor activity, but they require lower AC temps even so. Ok, I get that. And there’s a twist. The study poses the question whether the popularity of largeness has itself causes our increasing dependence upon mechanical cooling, or whether THE AIR CONDITIONING ITSELF HAS CAUSED US TO GET FATTER!
As Dave Barry often says, I am sooooooo not making this up. If reducing our heat stress in summer causes us to eat more, ok, maybe. If reducing our heat stress simply permits larger people to survive summer, ok, maybe. Or if heat stress is a weight loss technique we should all be considering, well, I don’t like it, but maybe.
In the case of my embarrassing spread, I don’t think my air conditioner is the real perp. I think I did it to myself. But a guilty air conditioner may cost less to run. I can be stingier with the thermostat. I can do yoga in front of the TV. I can eat salad with almost no dresssing while i do yoga in front of the TV, occasionally glaring at the thermostat. I can work in the heat all day and come home to a cool house, drink ice water and bask in the relief from heat stress. I don’t think I should swelter until I reach my ideal weight. I think I may live longer if I don’t have to court heat exhaustion, dehydration, depression, grouchiness, malaise and unpleasant body odors when it gets hot outside.
I want my AC. Forget the study linking obesity with air conditioning. I can adjust. I’ll drink so much water I won’t even be hungry. And if the supermodel gets chilly, she can go outside and pose……..