Men at higher risk of obesity because of heatwave – ‘A big deal’

BBC Weather: UK forecast continued heatwave conditions

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According to Professor Carmit Levy, men could be at greater risk of gaining weight because of the heatwave.

This is because sunshine sparks the production of a hormone known as ghrelin, which causes men to feel hungry.

As a result, men tend to eat as much as 300 extra calories per day during periods of hot weather.

Combined with a lack of activity during the summer, this causes them to gain weight.

Professor Levy described the findings as “a huge surprise”.

She added: “No one has ever shown that ghrelin increase after UV exposure and it is a big deal because it’s a major appetite hormone.

“We saw that testosterone also goes up so maybe men are more active in the summer, but if your lifestyle stays the same then you would probably gain weight.”

The reason for this is less lifestyle and more animalistic says Levy as “male animals require more energy for fertility and generating sperm, so it makes sense that they will be hunting for food and be more sensitive to environment cues”.

How do men get around the ghrelin boost?

The answer is relatively simple.

If someone finds they’re eating more then it is ideal to exercise more to compensate in order avoid the weight gain.

However, while the ghrelin boost is something to consider, it isn’t the major risk when the mercury begins to rise.

There are several risks associated with sustained periods of hot weather including:
• Heat exhaustion
• Heat stroke
• Skin cancer
• Dehydration.

Such is the nature of the hot weather affecting the UK that a COBRA meeting has been called to discuss the situation.

What is COBRA?

COBRA is a committee which is normally convened to handle matters of national emergency and major disruption.

Several COBRA meetings were handled in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aim of these meetings is to work out what steps to take to handle the situation and what to do if it evolves.

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