logo logo

Hot hands reflect your waist line

I found this study a bit bizarre but fascinating. It makes sense too! :)

People who are obese generate more heat than those of normal weight. But where does that extra heat generated escape from?

The excess heat must leave the body some how or else those who are obese would have a fever and be ill. Fat also acts as an insulating layer that prevents heat leaving the body. Researchers have discovered the secret is in the hands!

“Hot hands, big waist” study

The researchers took the core body temperature of 23 obese individuals to find it was virtually the same as 13 normal weight volunteers.

So, the researchers decided to thermally scan a part of the body that is relatively free of insulating body fat: our hands!

They found that the hands of obese individuals, especially tiny blood vessels near the surface of their fingers, produced substantially more heat than did the hands of normal weight people.

This is interesting …

How much hotter? The researchers found that temperatures around the fingernails averaged 34degC or 93degF in the obese volunteers compared to only 29degC or 84degF in the normal weight people.

In contrast, the temperature near the belly button in obese people averaged 32degC or 89degF. That’s 1 degree less than in the normal weight people.

How about sweating? We also release heat via sweating. But over time, sweating risks dehydration. So it’s not a very healthy approach for continual cooling of the excess heat that excess weight generates. Removing heat via the skin is safer.

What the researchers said

Researcher Jack Yanovski added, “Folks that are overweight tend to have more trouble with sustained exercise, and have increased sweating, which is probably a response to their difficulty in removing heat.”

He concluded, “Humans weren’t really designed to be extraordinarily heavy.” The research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Related articles


bottom KellieMyHS

About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


News "home delivered"

Note: These news headlines are now automatically displayed on the home page of the My Health Software applications for Windows.

The news is updated regularly, and you can click through to these items to read more.