Living in the Mountains Can Prevent Obesity

June 25, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. picturesque /ˌpɪkʃəˈrɛsk/ (adj.) – referring to something beautiful or attractive in view
Example: I took a lot of photos of the picturesque view of the valley.

2. tranquility /træŋˈkwɪlɪ (n.) – the condition of being calm and peaceful
Example: The construction of the new mall disturbs the tranquility of the place.

3. high altitude /haɪ ˈælˌtud/ (n.) – an elevated area, such as mountains
Example: Runners train at high altitudes for better physical strength.

4. enlisted /ɛnˈlɪstɛd/ (adj.) – referring to someone who is a member of the armed forces but doesn’t really hold a high-ranking position
Example: Hundreds of American enlisted soldiers were sent to the Philippines for training.

5. satiety /səˈtaɪɪ (n.) – the feeling of being full
Example: Eating fruits and vegetables gives us satiety and good nutrition.


Read the text below.
A recent study published in the journal PLOS One states that living in the mountains can be a good way to decrease body weight.

The study suggests that aside from the picturesque view, fresh air, and tranquility, high altitudes may also make a person lose weight. To carry out the study, the researchers examined 98,009 enlisted men who were overweight but not obese.

For two years, these service men moved between duty stations at high altitudes (6,035 feet) and low altitudes (0.5 miles above sea level). Results show that high-altitude living can prevent one from being obese while those who live at lower areas have higher chances of gaining weight.

Although it is not yet known why high altitudes reduce obesity, other studies have confirmed that hypoxia or an oxygen-deficient environment could lower appetite and body fat. In addition, a hormone responsible for curbing appetite called leptin increases in high altitudes, resulting in the feeling of satiety. Captain Jameson Voss, a researcher, said that these results are by far the strongest proof that living in high altitudes can prevent someone from being obese.

According to Leslie Clark, a contractor with the Armed Forces Health Center, overweight military personnel may be assigned to high-altitude stations, as a result of the study’s findings.

However, there are only few bases located in the mountains. Thus, the likelihood to be assigned to those areas seems little.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that people who live in the mountains are slimmer than those who live in lower areas? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think many people prefer to live in the city?

Discussion B

·         Why is it important for those in the military to be physically fit?
·         Do you think there should be weight requirement for this job? Why or why not?

June 25, 2014