How Many Factors Apply to You?

My Health News Daily recently released a post listing, “11 Surprising Things That Can Make Us Gain Weight.” Poor diet and lack of exercise weren’t listed in their list of 11 things, though they were mentioned in the introduction. I was surprised to find out how many of the factors identified actually apply to me.

To lose ten pounds
chrisphoto via Compfight

Turning On The AC
As a larger person, my motto was, “Keep Refrigerated.” I wasn’t comfortable in the summer unless the thermostat was in the 60’s. In a vehicle, I always had to have the vents blowing on me. I’m now easily chilled and prefer driving with the sunroof open and the vent turned off. The article draws a link, but does air conditioning “make us gain weight?”

Having a Working Mom
From the time I was born, my mom was working. She ran a “beauty shop” in the back room of our house. When I was older, she worked as a school cafeteria manager. This line from the post almost made me laugh out loud, “researchers caution, they didn’t examine diet or physical activity, which are likely to partially account for the results.”

Not Getting Enough Sleep
I’ve always been a 6.5 hour per night kind of guy. Even in college, I was known in the dorm for being the guy who never slept much. In recent months, I’ve been staying up as late as ever, but my body is waking me up earlier and earlier. “Getting old sucks.”

Getting Your Tonsils Out
I had my tonsils out in the first grade. I weighed 165 pounds in the third grade. Coincidence? You can’t make this stuff up.

Having an Older Mom
My mother was 31 when I was born. My dad was in his 40’s. The article states that children of older mothers carried 2.6 – 2.8% more body fat than those born to younger mothers.

Being Exposed to Environmental Contaminants
As I mentioned, I grew up in a home where cosmetology chemicals were stored and used. The reason my mother eventually stopped “doing hair” was because of a negative reaction she had to the chemicals.

Your Genes
My mother had gastric bypass in the 1970’s. My maternal aunt has always been obese. I come by it naturally.

There are a lot of links in the article that apply to me, but I’m not sure if these are all valid causal relationships. Correlation is one thing, but causation is another thing entirely. When two things go hand-in-hand, there is correlation.

One famous example of how this works is a study linking shoe size to reading ability. The study found that people with smaller shoe sizes tended to have inferior reading abilities to those with larger shoe sizes. When looking closer at the data, it was clear that the poorer readers were children. While there is a correlation between shoe size and reading ability, having larger shoes does not, itself, make you a better reader.

How many factors from this piece apply to you?

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