obesity virus

this is a repeat from my old blog from last year, with an update. this article showed up in medicalnews:

Can You Catch Obesity? Apparently You Can, Say Researchers
30 Jan 2006. Written by Christian Norquist

In the past, all we had to worry about was our ability, or inability, to resist fattening foods. According to new research, many cases of obesity may be the result of an infectious disease – more specifically, the human adenovirus Ad-37.

According to Dr L Whigham and team, Dept of Nutritional Sciences, Wisconsin University, obesity is a chronic and complex disease. He says that there are lots of factors contributing to the broad epidemic. He adds that it is very possible that the obesity explosion is partially due to an infectious disease.

… Dr Whigham says the human adenovirus Ad-37 makes chickens obese. Previous studies have indicated that other viruses, which are found in humans, can also trigger obesity. Whighan says his team have identified three viruses that make chickens, and most likely humans, fat. …

The aim of the team, after they have concluded their studies and identified which viruses make us fat, is to develop an anti-obesity vaccine that targets these viruses. Dr Whigham said there are people who are not fat but carry the virus. He stressed that good diet and exercise still plays a crucial role in regulating our weight and good health. He says he does not know how diet and exercise interact with the virus.

Many have written to Medical News Today on this theme. The common thread among the e-mails is that diet and physical activity play the major roles on how much we weigh. We all lead alarmingly sedentary lives and we eat too much processed junk food – and too much food.

One person emailed in with: ‘These chickens in the study that got fat because they had the virus – were they sedentary? What would happen if you split the chickens up into two groups? One group with the virus, but doing lots of exercise and eating good food in the right quantity, and the other group without the virus, sedentary, with loads of fattening food. I bet the second group would be fatter. Perhaps the virus plays a tiny role – but I am sure diet and exercise are the factors that really matter.’

since this came out almost a year ago, i thought there might be some development on it, but i couldn’t find anything. here, however, are three web sites that elaborate on this finding:

a flash presentation by richard l. atkinson, one of the researchers involved in the study.

a web site about the obesity virus, where you can get tested whether you have the virus (although they don’t have treatment for it yet).

parallel universes, a blog, where this topic is discussed.

isabella mori
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