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Author Topic: Can obesity be caused by a virus?  (Read 3539 times)

paul.fr

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Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« on: 26/01/2009 15:29:13 »
Obesity can be 'caught' from another individual in the same way as a cold, scientists suggest.

The condition has been linked to a highly-infectious virus which causes sniffles and sore throats.

Spread by dirty hands, the adenovirus apparently attacks tissue and causes fat cells to multiply  -  leading to massive weight gain.

Previous studies have shown that chickens and mice infected with the bug put on weight more quickly than uninfected animals  -  even when they do not eat more.

Now human studies show that almost a third of obese adults carry the virus compared with 11 per cent of lean men and women.

Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar, who led the research, said the bug continues to add weight gain long after those infected recover from their cough or cold. He told BBC2's Horizon programme, to be shown at 9pm tonight: 'This virus goes to the lungs and spreads through the body.

'It goes to various organs and tissues such as the liver, kidney, brain and fat tissue.

'When this virus 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 the fat tissue expands and why people get fat when they are infected with this virus.'

The professor, from Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana, said victims could remain infectious for up to three months. 'But people could be fat for reasons other than viral infections so it's really pointless to try to avoid fat people to avoid infection,' he said.

Learning more about adenovirus's role in weight gain could speed the development of an antiobesity vaccine, or drugs to tackle the condition.

British obesity experts, however, dismissed evidence of a link with adenovirus as 'sparse'. Tam Fry, of the Child Growth Foundation, said: 'You are much more likely to pick up the flu than obesity. In general, obesity is down to eating more than you need and not exercising as much as you should.'

Dr Ian Campbell, a GP and medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said: 'A virus will never be the reason for why we have an obesity epidemic.

'There are far too many other factors, starting with our calorie intake exceeding our expenditure, and that's because we live such sedentary lives.

'Our dietary habits have changed beyond belief and I don't believe that's the effect of a viral infection  -  it is the fault of the commercial expansion of companies making unhealthy foods.'

Professor Colin Waine, past president of the National Obesity Forum, said: 'What we don't want to lose sight of is that if people can lose 5 to 10 per cent of their weight, the benefits on health are disproportionately good.'

Tonight's documentary also features research which could explain why dieters feel permanently hungry and often regain the weight they have lost.

Dr Rudy Leibel, from Columbia University in New York, said individuals have a ' natural body weight' to which they are programmed to return after dieting.

So naturally overweight people who diet will always suffer hunger pangs, even if they become lean and healthy.

'Individuals have a biology which determines how tall or short they will be and how skinny or fat they will be, and wishing it one way or the other really cannot change it that much.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1127336/Now-CATCH-obesity--spreading-fat-cells-linked-virus.html
« Last Edit: 27/01/2009 22:37:36 by chris »


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #1 on: 26/01/2009 22:25:36 »
 :o
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #2 on: 26/01/2009 22:33:29 »
I think I have the fatty virus. If I go to a place where people are suffering from malnutrition will my virus make them fatter. I think not!
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #3 on: 27/01/2009 00:40:06 »
Good point, why don't they take a few fat people to some poor country with skinny people and conduct the experiment there?
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #4 on: 27/01/2009 09:23:29 »
Why am I nearly the size of a Hippo and my Mrs a Stick Insect?

OK I exaggerate, but not allot.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #5 on: 27/01/2009 09:27:39 »
OK I exaggerate, but not allot.
Was that meant to be a play on words?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #6 on: 27/01/2009 09:43:39 »
Because if I was going to be a FOG, I would tell you thay allot is spelt with 1 'l' and it is two words: a lot.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #7 on: 27/01/2009 11:10:57 »
Because if I was going to be a FOG, I would tell you thay allot is spelt with 1 'l' and it is two words: a lot.

Sorry C4M, it's a play on words 'allot' as in the distribution of our combined weight.

FOG free zone.

Beware bad puns are operating in this area.

By the way did you mean 'I would tell you that....' FOG (even though it's a typo).
« Last Edit: 27/01/2009 11:13:52 by Don_1 »
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #8 on: 27/01/2009 21:36:28 »
Oh, I wanted to FOG him.

Dr Hilary, the gorgeous TV doctor, said the fat virus was a load of rubbish. I believe him because he is handsome and a doctor. Is this good scientific evidence?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #9 on: 27/01/2009 21:48:20 »
Yes
 

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Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #10 on: 28/01/2009 09:29:27 »
MIL,your reasons for believing Dr Hilary do not make sound scientific judgement. However, on this occasion, I think you have probably come to the right conclusion.
 

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Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #11 on: 28/01/2009 09:33:47 »
See the ad purporting to give us the opportunity to lose 20 pounds in ten days?

Looks to me like you are more likely to lose $27 in about 10 mins!
 

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Can obesity be caused by a virus?
« Reply #11 on: 28/01/2009 09:33:47 »

 

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