Association between obesity and reduced body temperature in dogs
Conclusion: These findings document an association between obesity and reduced body temperature in dogs and support the hypothesis that obesity in this and other species of homeotherms may result from an increase in metabolic efficiency achieved by a regulated lowering of body temperature.More commentary here
Most humans and most animals gain weight because they accumulate fat. That occurs when they take in more energy than they expend. The unused energy is stored as fat.
"The way to reduce energy intake is to eat less, but that means you feel hungry, and a common way to increase energy expenditure is to exercise, but many people lack the motivation," he said.
Refinetti's study explored the theory that obesity may result from a less obvious reduction in energy expenditure: a reduction in body temperature. The idea is that warm-blooded animals spend much of their energy generating heat to keep the body warm. However, some animals have body temperatures that are naturally lower and therefore do not need to use as much energy to stay warm.
The reduced body temperature would be sufficient to account for body weight gain over several months.
"Although not yet replicated in humans, these results suggest that human obesity may be caused by a small reduction in the temperature at which the body maintains itself," he said.