Will Brown Fat Make You Thin? Yes! Sort of.

Finally, a weight loss strategy that requires me to do absolutely nothing! From now on, your fat will make you thin. According to three papers published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, humans are filled with “brown fat” (gross) which burns calories at super speed. [WebMD] Brown fat’s main job is to keep you warm. Babies have lots of it, because they don’t know how to shiver (aww, helpless babies), and until yesterday, scientists thought we shed the brown stuff as we grew up. But, it turns out, scientists were wrong— we still have the blobby brown stuff. It kicks into gear when you hang in a 61-degree room for a while. The brown fat keeps us warm by burning calories in overdrive. Its color comes from having lots of mitochondria and iron, which are each like little teeny furnaces chugging away to burn calories.

Thin people have more brown fat than obese people; younger people have more than oldies, and women have more than men. Lose nine pounds each year…without hitting the gym or dieting as long as you live in a cold climate or like to keep the AC very, very low. [NY Times]

Wintry spa time, anyone? I hear airfare is really cheap to Iceland these days.