Based on preliminary data and previous studies, we hypothesize that the ambient temperature
experienced by an individual influences his or her food intake. Specifically, exposure to
temperatures above the thermoneutral zone (TNZ) will decrease consumption in young adults in
a sedentary situation. Researchers will execute a crossover randomized control trial
specifically testing thermal exposure and its effect on individual female's food
Participants will receive and wear a t-shirt. They will have a thermal image taken of the
inner canthus of their eye and middle finger nail bed, representing a baseline of core and
peripheral temperatures, respectively. They will also have their metabolic rate measured via
a canopy hood method. At their initial visit, they will be randomized to either a colder
environment (66-68°F) or a warmer environment (77-79°F) under the artifice of monitoring
routine office work with abnormal temperature conditions. Their knowledge of the experiment
will be limited until the end. They will experience this temperature while filling out
paperwork and performing basic office tasks for a 7 hour work day. At the beginning and end
of each day they will fill out a questionnaire on their appetite and thermal comfort. After
the first 3.5 hours, another thermal image will be taken and the participant will be
presented with lasagna and water and directed to eat at their leisure and subsequently
finish the office tasks over the next 3.5 hours. A thermal image will be taken and metabolic
rate will be assessed at the end of the day. Snacks will be available throughout the day.
The participants will return approximately 1 week later to experience the other thermal
environment following the same protocols. The participants will then be debriefed on the
parameters of the experiment and body measurements will be taken at the end so as to prevent
bias of the subject by limiting their food intake. We will quantify energy intake by
weighing remaining food and comparing to known caloric content by weight from bomb
calorimetry tests. The infrared thermal images will determine whether the temperatures
experienced were extreme enough to initiate a change in thermoregulation.
Are you willing to have your height and weight taken? Are you willing and able to give
informed consent? Are you able to communicate with the pertinent staff? Are you
comfortable reading independently and answering a couple written questions related to the
passage that you've read? Are you willing to sit in a small office with a closed door for
an entire workday? Do you feel uncomfortable in confined spaces for extended periods of
- Do you have any food allergy, including, but not limited to lactose or gluten
intolerance? Do you have any religious affiliations that include specific food guidelines?
Do you have any personal dietary restrictions, including but not limited to veganism? Have
you participated in any weight-reduction program, weight-loss diet, or other special diet
within the previous 3 months? Have you had weight loss or gain of >5% of body weight in
the past 6 months for any reason except post-partum weight loss? Are you currently taking
medication that suppresses or stimulates appetite or that affects body weight, including
oral anti-diabetics medications? Do you have a history of prior surgical procedure for
weight control or liposuction? Are you currently taking statins? Do you have high blood
pressure (above 140 systolic, 90 diastolic)? Are you a current smoker or have you quit
smoking less than 6 months prior?
Do you have any major disease, including:
- Active cancer or cancer requiring treatment in the past 2 years (except nonmelanoma
- Active or chronic infections, including self-reported HIV positivity and active
- Active cardiovascular disease or event including hospitalization or therapeutic
procedures for treatment of heart disease (e.g., coronary artery bypass, percutaneous
transluminal coronary angioplasty) in the past 6 months; New York Heart Association
Functional Class >2 with respect to congestive heart failure; stroke or transient
ischemic attack in the past 6 months.
- Gastrointestinal disease, including self-reported chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, any
episode of alcoholic hepatitis or alcoholic pancreatitis within past year,
inflammatory bowel disease requiring treatment in the past year, recent or
significant abdominal surgery (e.g., gastrectomy).
- Active renal disease.
- Lung disease: chronic obstructive airway disease requiring use of oxygen.
- Diagnosed diabetes (type 1 or 2).
- Uncompensated or uncontrolled psychiatric disease (such as schizophrenia and bipolar
disorder) that, in opinion of the investigators, would impede conduct of the trial or
completion of procedures.
Do you have a history of or currently have an eating disorder? Have you ever been
diagnosed with Raynaud's syndrome? Do you have another household member is a participant
or staff member in the trial? Are you currently or do you anticipate participating in
another intervention research project that would interfere with the intervention offered
in the session? Are you willing to accept condition that you are randomized to? Are you
currently taking antidepressant, steroid, or thyroid medication, unless dosage has been
stable for at least 6 months? Do you have a recent or ongoing problem with drug abuse or
addiction? Do you on average consume 3 or more alcohol containing beverages daily? Have
you consumed 7 or more alcoholic beverages within a 24-hr period in the past 12 months?
Are you a student in the Environmental Health Science Department, Nutrition Sciences
School, any student, trainee, or post-doctoral fellow who is directly or indirectly
receiving funding from the Nutrition Obesity Research Center? Are you currently pregnant
or less than 3 months post-partum? Are you currently nursing or within 6 weeks of having
completed nursing? Do you anticipate a pregnancy between time of screening and session
date? Are you willing to report possible or confirmed pregnancies promptly at the time of