Obesity May Be Contagious

fat virus, obesityAs if French fries and pork rinds didn't make us fat enough, a new study says our friends can make us fat, too.

Hey, wait one second. This news is so not fair. Supposedly, obesity is contagious, as easily caught as the common cold. But what about catching some skinny? I should be able to hang around a supermodel and come down with a case of flat stomach.


But it doesn't work that way. A study in England showed that 33 percent of obese adults had contracted an adenovirus called AD-36 at some point in their lives. Only 11 percent of skinny men and women had ever had the virus.

The human adenovirus has 49 known strands. It can cause everything from the common cold, stomach bug, eye inflammation, pneumonia, croup and bronchitis. AD-36 might get into fat tissues and replicate, increasing the number of new fat cells, according to a story on LiveScience.

Other doctors and experts aren't so sure. They still believe obesity is mostly caused by diet and exercise--or lack thereof.

I think studies like this could be dangerous. Obese people already experience enough discrimination. I highly doubt I'll gain weight if I sit next to or have coffee with a fat person. Other CafeMoms agreed in a discussion on the fat virus in The CafeMom Newcomer's Club. I agree with thebestbrianne, who wrote, "That's just silly."

In your opinion, is the fat virus fact or fiction? Can you gain weight from hugging a bigger person?

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