It is possible that a virus is responsible for some weight gain
– or for some weight gain in some people.
So far the story is in the initial stages. The virus concerned is the adenovirus (technically adenovirus 36 – it gives us colds and flus). In the lab: rats and mice with a virus put on weight more quickly than uninfected animals, when they ate the same amount of food. In people: 11% of lean people have the adenovirus while around 30% of obese people do. So it isn’t the complete explanation, but it is certainly intriguing.
A researcher, by the name of Magdalena Pasarica, reported the findings to the American Chemical Society.
The next stage of course is to figure out why some people with the virus put on weight and others don’t. I guess that, a drug that killed the virus and so helped some people lose weight would sell a million. The way this virus is spread is by sneezes and touching surfaces with it on –
so washing your hands may reduce your chance of obesity.