Obesity Really is an Epidemic and it Could Be Contagious

August 3, 2007 at 10:05 pm | Posted in News, science | 4 Comments

The next time you have a cold you could have the fat virus. The adenovirus-36, is a member of a viral family that includes about 50 strains. Most adenoviruses cause colds, diarrhea or pinkeye but adenovirus-36 (new window) might just make you fat.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison said

Researchers do not know yet how adenovirus-36 causes obesity. Infected animals did not eat more than uninfected ones, suggesting that the virus decreases energy expenditure rather than increasing appetite.

“I feel that it increases the number of fat cells, which encourages them to store more fat,” said Dhurandhar, who recently joined Wayne State University in Detroit.

The animal obesity viruses appear to work differently from adenovirus-36, by damaging the part of the brain that controls appetite. The Wisconsin researchers saw no brain damage in chickens and mice infected with adenovirus-36.

Aside from a day or two of cold-like symptoms, Atkinson said, the virus produced no observable effects besides obesity.



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  1. Oh my god, now they are blaming the viruses for making people fat. This has got to stop! Everyone today seems to have a million excuses for why they are overweight; genetics, emotional distress, etc.

    People are fat because they eat like shit, cramming McDonalds down their throats and taking in more processed sugar and flour than decent vitamins and minerals.

  2. Gavin,
    Ya think!

    I thought I was staying in shape by eating healthy foods and working out at the gym. As it turns out maybe it’s because I don’t eat at McDonalds (or other fast food joints) thus I don’t get sneezed on by those who might have said virus.

  3. I’m pretty sure I have a version of this adenovirus … however what I have is called: Krispy Kreme-12 (as i could down a 12 pack in one sitting).

  4. Try visit http://healthguide.freehostia.com. It contains more comprehensive guide to your health.

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