Obesity Virus: Info or Hoax?


According to a news titled Obesity Bug You Can Catch and published today by the Daily Express, researchers believe that obesity could be caused by an airborne adenovirus and could be caught as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.

“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.”

That’s not new information ! This hypothesis has already been presented in at the annual conference of North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO), in November 2006 and was the conclusion of a study lead in 2005 by Richard Atkinson and Nikhil Dhurandhar.

What the study found was that 30% of overweight people had been infected by the AD-36 virus, while the proportion was only 11% among slim people.

That’s interesting enough, but without further testing, it is premature to conclude that the virus is responsible for a third of all obesity cases.

Each time a strong correlation is found in scientific studies, it is wise to remind this old question: Which Came First? The Hen or the Egg?.

Strong correlations between 2 events are often caused by a third factor that has been underestimated due to the experiment conditions.

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