Living at a higher altitude may help you slim down

Slim woman

Americans who live well above sea level are less likely to be obese than those in low-lying areas, a study has claimed.

The study - based on data from 400,000 people living in Colorado - showed that a person's obesity risk dropped with every 660ft increase in elevation, the Daily Mail reported.

Lead researcher Dr Jameson Voss, from Uniformed Services University in Maryland and his team said that the finding could help explain the difference in obesity rates between states.

They said that changes in elevation could affect appetite hormones, growth and how many calories the body burned.

To examine obesity rates at different altitudes, they combined data from several databases, including a telephone health survey of 422,603 Americans from 2011.

The researchers had data on 236 people who lived at the highest altitude of at least 9,800 feet above sea level. These people smoke less, eat healthier and exercised more.

The researchers also had data on 322,681 people who lived in the lowest altitude range - less than 1,600ft above sea level.

After taking into account other factors, which could influence the results like retirement age, they found that adults living in the lowest altitude range had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 26.6 compared to people who lived in the highest altitude range, who had a BMI of 24.2.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Obesity.

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