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Believe it or not, there's new evidence suggesting it is possible to catch a cold that could make you fat and that sickness might be to blame for a person's obesity. There are many theories that try to explain the obesity crisis and its causes. Although the most common explanation is in the standard Western diet, the new theory claims that obesity can be caught from a virus, just like the common cold.

Although many medical professionals are skeptical, those researching the virus say it lingers for up to three months in a person. During that time, it multiplies fat and is contagious to others.

Dr. Guilford Hartley, the medical director of the Hennepin Bariatric Program at HCMC, says it's an airborne virus called Adenovirus-36 or AD-36.

The symptoms are very similar to the common cold -- runny nose, sore throat, swollen glands -- eventually affecting your stem cells.

Adenovirus-36 has the ability to take these stem cells and turn them into fat cells. You cannot catch AD-36 by simply being around obese people. By the time they become overweight, they are no longer contagious.

After the infection, no matter how slim or overweight you were before the infection, you are more likely to become overweight after the infection than you were before.

The researchers warn that the virus should be taken seriously as one in three obese adults contract it at some point in their lives.

An overweight person with AD-36 gain weight may have lower cholesterol is lower than the average person or an overweight person without the virus. Currently, it is not known at what age the virus affects people, and there is no way to tell who is contagious and there is no known cure for those who have it.


I am skeptical too. Based on what I have read on this article, I haven't seen any direct evidence linking AD-36 to the onset of obesity.