Nothing to do with eating too many high-fructose corn syrup-laden foods and gallons of sugary drinks, of course! Hard to believe this is a serious story, but here it is from Discovery News:
Childhood obesity is not only an epidemic, it may be an infectious disease transmitted by a common cold virus, a new study suggests.
Children exposed to adenovirus-36 were more likely to be obese than were children who had no evidence of infection, according to a study published online Sept. 20 in Pediatrics. The new study is the latest to link the virus to obesity in people. Recent studies of Korean children and both American and Italian adults have shown that obese people are more likely to have antibodies against the virus — a sign of a prior infection — than normal-weight people are.
Adenoviruses are some of the many viruses responsible for causing colds and stomach ailments in people.
In the new study, 67 obese and 57 normal-weight children ranging in age from 8 to 18 were tested for the presence of antibodies against adenovirus-36 in their blood. Researchers led by Jeffrey Schwimmer, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of California, San Diego, and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, found antibodies in 19 of the children. Of those children found to carry the antibody, 15 were obese and four were of normal weight.
Not only were obese children more likely to have antibodies to the virus — 22 percent of obese children had antibodies compared with 7 percent of normal-weight kids — but the obese kids with evidence of prior adenovirus-36 infections were on average about 35 pounds fatter than obese children who hadn’t caught the virus…
[continues at Discovery News]