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Fat. Nearly everyone at some point in his or her life has been concerned with it. Our image-conscious, fast-food culture is obsessed with new diet trends because no one wants to look or feel overweight.

Interestingly, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that some fat – brown fat – is good for our health and burns calories. Brown fat exists partly to generate heat and keep the body warm. White fat stores energy – brown fat burns it.

People in colder climates tend to have more brown fat than those who don’t. This infers that people who live in cooler residences could develop more brown fat, too.

This is good news for energy conservation! Instead of persuading people to turn down their thermostats to prevent global warming and save out-of-sight-out-of-mind polar bears, we can now say it may prevent them from becoming fatties. No painful exercise. No harmful pills. No disgusting food. Sure, there may be a few shivers here and there, but who says we have to live at 72 degrees, anyways? And, it’s more persuasive than telling people to throw on a cardigan sweater as Jimmy Carter learned the hard way.

Turn down the heat. Save energy. Save money. Save your waistline.

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