About one-third of U.S. adults, and 16 percent of children and teens, are currently obese, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And while it’s known that obesity increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and even cancer, what’s not entirely known are all of the causes.
Experts agree that overeating and lack of exercise are two major contributors to excess weight. But recent research has suggested that something else may also be at play — a virus that’s as easy to catch as the common cold.
Is There an Obesity Virus?
Studies suggest that an adenovirus called AD-36 may be involved in some cases of obesity. There are more than 50 types of adenoviruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold and gastroenteritis. Typically, the illnesses are not serious and resolve on their own.