EYE ON HEALTH: Is your house making you fat? - WSMV Channel 4

EYE ON HEALTH: Is your house making you fat?

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Monique Payne says she does what she can to lead a healthy lifestyle.  She often makes snacks like popcorn herself, to better control how much oil and salt she eats, and is committed to exercising nearly every day.

Monique says "I actually run six days out of the week and my running is probably someone's fast walking, be we're still out there, generally three miles every night."

But in her efforts to stay healthy, Monique may be overlooking one vital piece of the puzzle, her home.

It's been said home is where the heart is, but it may also be at the heart of some of our most pressing health issues.  So researchers are out to answer some intriguing questions.

Dr. Charles Emery says "how do people set up their homes, how do they respond to their homes and what effect, in turn, does that arrangement in the home have on their health and their well being?

To find out researchers at Ohio State University are taking meticulous notes.  They start by itemizing what foods are in the refrigerator, what's in the pantry, and what types of food are sitting out?  They suspect those who aren't as healthy may have foods that aren't as healthy at eye level and within arms reach.

Dr. Emery says "we're also interested in what those distances are between where the individual spends most of their time in the home and where the food sources are."

So they're measuring not only how far it is from your favorite spot to your food, but also height, weight, and cholesterol. And even before they have results, the study is giving Monique plenty to chew on.

Monique says "It was funny to see it through her eyes verses just my eyes.  She would observe things differently than I did."

Knowing that may help researchers know more about how your house impacts your health.   

Researchers will also check stress levels in patients and will look to see if they have exercise equipment where it's located, and if people are using it.   They will analyze 100 houses for this study and hope to have results in the coming year.

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