Is obesity contagious?
The new report on child obesity and viruses, published in Pediatrics, found that children who had been exposed to the adenovirus 36 were more likely to be obese than children who were never infected, with 22 percent of obese children having antibodies to the virus, compared to 7 percent of normal-weight children. The antibodies indicate that the body’s immune system has tried to defend itself against the virus, a sign of prior exposure or infection. The study tested 67 obese and 57 normal-weight children, and was led by researchers at the University of California-San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital. Other studies in adults have found that obese folks are also more likely to have antibodies to the virus than are slimmer people.