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"Obesity Bug You Can Catch


Last Edited: January 26, 2009, 11:09 am

Believe this theory was discussed several years ago but not backed by hard research. Hope for all of us who carry a few extra pounds they find something definitive and can reverse what the virus has caused.



Obesity is a major problem in Britain

Monday January 26,2009
By Jo Willey Health Correspondent

Source Daily Express | UK News 

"OBESITY can be "caught" as easily as a common cold from other people's coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, scientists will claim today.

Researchers believe that an airborne "adenovirus" germ could be causing the fat plague that is blighting Britain and other countries.

As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.

It is known to cause coughs, sore throats, diarrhoea and conjunctivitis but has now also been found to make fat cells multiply, leading to weight gain.

The shocking discovery will add to evidence that Britain's obesity epidemic is not simply down to an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise.

Research suggests a third of UK adults will be grossly overweight within three years, with Britain even predicted to overtake the US as the most obese nation in the world.

The problem already causes 9,000 premature deaths in the UK a year and costs the NHS £1billion.

Many experts already believe that genes can make some people more susceptible to weight gain and now it seems that infections could also hold the key.

Studies have shown that chickens and mice infected with AD-36 put on weight quicker than uninfected animals, even when they were not given extra food. It has also been found to cause huge weight gain in monkeys.

Now studies on humans show that 33 per cent of obese adults had contracted AD-36 at some point in their lives, compared with only 11 per cent of lean men and women.

Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar, of Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana, US, who led the research, said AD-36 continued to add weight gain long after those infected had seemingly recovered.

His studies indicated that the virus lingers for up to three months, during which time it multiplies fat and is contagious to others.

Dr Dhurandhar, who will make the extraordinary claims on BBC2's Horizon tonight, said: "We now know that this virus goes to the lungs and spreads to various organs such as the liver, kidney, brain and fat tissue.

"When it goes to fat tissue it replicates, making more copies of itself and in the process increases the number of new fat cells, which may explain why people get fat when they are infected with this virus." The findings were welcomed by some medical experts, although others sounded a note of caution.

Dr Shahrad Taheri, clinical director for obesity at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, said: "Most people believe obesity is caused by environmental factors.

"But there is a lot of information about how things like the furring up of arteries could be linked to infections. It is not beyond reason to think about various different factors, including infections, adding into the mix about what causes obesity."

Tony Barnett, professor of medicine at the University of Birmingham, said: "These associations may give some clues but they detract from the basic message that we all need to take more exercise and eat a bit less.

"This kind of research needs to go on but we have to be cautious."

Dr Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: "We must acknowledge it is a contribution to the research but it doesn't alter the management of obesity."

The documentary also reveals research which claims to explain why those on diets feel permanently hungry, even when overweight.

A US study found that people have a "natural body weight" and respond to losing a few pounds in the same way as if they were starving.

The findings suggest that overweight people who diet will always suffer hunger pangs, even if they become lean and healthy."


Entry #1,036


Comment by jim695 - January 26, 2009, 12:35 pm
This theory has been visited in the past, but now there seems to be some very credible research to support the idea. A similar article recently appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, and it was also the subject of a "Boston Legal" episode, in which Denny Crane fires an associate for "being fat" after she refused his advances.

     I found it interesting that this problem isn't exclusive to the United States, as we were initially led to believe. Apparently, fat people visiting England and Canada have infected their respective populations just by deboarding an aircraft and stepping onto the tarmac.

     With all the come-ons and late-night infomercials hawking fad diets and various weight-loss schemes, it's very easy to conclude that obesity has created a very lucrative multi-billion-dollar industry. The research cited in these articles could conceivably put an end to the scammers who prey upon the gravitationally challenged and their insecurities. The vast majority of these products and diets DON'T WORK but, since they don't need FDA approval to go to market, the vendors continue to make hundreds of millions of dollars by selling false hope to those who are desperate for help. They have little, if any fear of reprisal or accountability from those they harm, though, due to their innocuous disclaimers published in fine print at the bottom of the screen.

     I believe this research holds promise for millions of people, and I hope the researchers and scientists will continue their work in this area.

konaneComment by konane - January 26, 2009, 1:29 pm
Awesome observations as your comments always are. Developing a vaccine would put an end to lots of industries include many in the medical and drug field. Wonder how long they're going to stall this potential cure?

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