New research is just that – something new. One of the latest reports describes evidence that a common human virus may lead to obesity. It appears that 11% of lean people have antibodies to Ad-36, but nearly 30% of obese people possess these antibodies. Apparently the Ad-36 virus causes some of our body’s cells to contain more fat, leading to obesity (Medical Hypotheses, January 10, 2009).
Does that mean we should throw healthy eating and regular exercise out the window? Not yet.
This is new reserach, remember? That means it needs to be repeated, investigated, and dug into to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Plus we also know that the vast majority of us simply don’t get enough activity and eat more than we need. Wouldn’t it be great to get an annual obesity vaccine, similar to a flu vaccine? High-fat food, here we come!
But we forget that healthy eating and regular physical activity have benefits beyond just our body weight. Eating well improves our immune system, decreases our risk of heart disease, and increases our energy levels. Getting regular physical activity strengthens our muscles, including our heart, and provides a welcome stress relief.
Frequent handwashing helps prevent catching a cold or the flu. I wonder if it works for obesity? Or should we just stick with eating more fruit and vegetables and heading outside for a 30 minute walk? Stay tuned.