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Does the fat virus exist and are we all going to get fat?

the calorific value of food consumed minus the calorific loss due to exercise (Exercise being everything from climbing out of bed or chewing food to running a marathon) should equal zero. So in theory a correct diet will leave you with only short term body fat.

Any excess and you gradually gain weight because of excess body fat etc etc. About 3,500 calories more than you need every week will result in a 50 lb weighty gain after a year.

Thats what I thought up to a few days ago. Until I watched a program about a fat virus. About 1 in 6 carry anti-bodies after having had this.
One study focussed on identical female twins the fatter one (35 pounds heavier) carried the antibodies.

The above was added to the original subject of "Seeking comfort in food is a good idea". This wording was deliberately controversial to provoke a large amount of dialog. If you think about it, in a way. Its like saying "Putting fuel and other lubricants/additives into your vehicle is a good idea". Of course it is other wise it will not work.

However in a test 500 people were tested for these getting fatter anti-bodies and 30 percent of the obese people tested positive for fat virus antibodies. Only 10 percent of non-obese people did.

The virus started around 1980 apparantly.
I have heard about that and it is really scary for me, imagine that obesity is actualy cause by a virus, and virus can be contagious right, and when the virus infect you, your going to get fat, I dont know how can a virus can make peaple fat, is the virus will make you want to eat more or your body just maximize the absorbtion of the food you eat and store it in fat? and is it proven?
It seems slightly goofy to me... but I agree it merits further investigation. Obesity is a problem worldwide, but particularly in America. If this was the cause of some of the cases than a reduction would, among other things, lower the suicide rate. Razz
Somebody asked wheather the weight gain was a result of wanting to eat more or because your body was damaged in some way.

The answer from the studies seems to be.
(1)You get the virus.
(2)The virus reduces your bodies ability to convert fat into energy
(3)You get over the virus but you still have the anti-bodies showing that you had it.
(4)Your body has sustained permanent damage and will more readily store fat.

Someone asked or asumed that this will cause more suicides. This will only affectr those who are pre-occupied with body image to the extent that (combined with their low will power) are unable to take remedial action.

Once medical issues like this become common knowledge there will be a whole new world.

Imagine a model who takes out insurance against getting fat as a result of contracting the virus.. Shocked
Current studies on this have been performed mostly just by the one lab and all that has really been shown is a correlation between exposure to adenovirus-36 and obesity. A mechanism of association has not yet been explained. In the Atchison study cited in the article, 11% of nonobese people had the antibodies compared with 30% of obese people. Many associations could be suggested, including blaming obesity for increasing Ad-36 infection.

Regardless, people should exercise, stay active, and eat well and adjust as needed to keep off unwanted fat. I have a hard time believing this virus could be the sole cause for a person doubling their body fat. Healthy body fat is about 15-20% of total body weight, or 20-40lbs, for a healthy man. An obese man is roughly 30% overweight. So, a 6'0" man who is at the high end of appropriate weight at 80kg (176 lbs) would need to gain 24kg (54 lbs) to reach obesity. Assuming at 80kg he has 20% body fat, or 16kg of body fat, he is increasing that by 150% to reach obesity.

Given that there are patients who are seropositive for Ad-36 antibodies and *not* obese, I am not inclined to believe the virus causes a more-than-doubling of body fat.

I mentioned nothing about people doubling their body fat. I mentioned identical twins who had been the same weight all their life and still eat the same but one has the anti-bodies and the other has not. The difference in weight was 35 pounds.

I understand your argument which boils down to "statistics can be made to show anything"

I agree with your example however. Here is a BMI chart:

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 24.9 Normal
25.0 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

given the formula:

Calculation: Weight (Height)2 = BMI
Your 80Kg man at 1.83 meters
Calculation: 80 (1.83)2 = 23.888 (Normal)
Your 104Kg at 1.83 meters
Calculation: 104 (1.83)2 = 31.05(Obese)

Note that at the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.

So a 5'11" women is "Normal" up to 80Kg or 176 lbs
and is not "Obese" until she exceeds 100Kg or 220 lbs

Calculating BMI is one of the best methods for population assessment of overweight and obesity and is a respected and inexpensive way of assessing one's own position as regards whose obese and who is not.
May be possible! But we must remeber onle 30% fats are positive and 10% slims are also positive for the antibody to the so called fat virus.

As Dr.Atkinsone says, it is true that ulcer and cervical cancer is atributer to infection now, still it is not proved that classical triad for ulcer i.e. Hurry, Worry and Curry is not true and the cervical cancer is still much more common in Indian subcontinent where multy parity is common.
And in the last , there are endless number of bacteria viruses and other pathogenic organisms, which are unable to break our immunity barrier !!

Remember, man is not almighty. Please have a look here also.
In response to the article you kindly provided a link to:

The article asserts: "Until recently, medical professionals thought ulcers were caused by spicy food, but now they know most are the result of a bacterial infection. And doctors now know almost all cases of cervical cancer are the result of a virus."

Neither statement is entirely true in regards to our understanding of these processes:

Bacteria were first suggested as the cause of ulcers in the late 1800s. This association was investigated throughout the 20th century. H. Pylori was first associated with ulcers in the 1950s, although definitive work did not emerge until the 1980s. It is rougly 2/3 of peptic (stomach) ulcers that are caused by H. Pylori - the others are caused by non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin (not tylenol). Diet does not cause ulcers to develop, but once they do, alcohol, spicy foods and acidic foods will definitely make the ulcers and the symptoms from the ulcers worse!

Peyton Rous first discovered that cancer could be caused by a virus in 1911. It was hypothesized based on epidemiological studies in the 1950s that cervical cancer was associated with a sexually transmitted infection. Human papilloma virus (HPV) was then identified as the agent in 1970s. However, because "sex" is a scary word for the FCC and some politicians, women were not appropriately educated about HPV until a vaccine became available. Of note, HPV vaccine development began in the early 1990s and caught steam in 2002. It was just recently that a highly successful vaccine finally finished clinical trials for FDA approval and mass use.

That we continue to make medical advances over time should not be taken as a proof or demonstration of any new idea.

The article also quotes Dr. Atkinson as saying, "Now that people are starting to travel to China, the prevalence of obesity has exploded."

I think in this quote Dr. Atkinson is explaining the theory of an animal adenovirus migrating to humans in Southeast Asia. However, if this were happening, China should theoretically have a higher rate of obesity than the United States (3% in China vs. 25% in the US). Besides, travel to China is not exactly a new thing. Change in travel habits to China is mostly caused by the expansion of capitalist business practices and looser legal conditions in that country. The same explosion of capitalism in China has mirrored the expansion of consumerism around the world, include food consumerism.

When the average meal at a restaurant has like 1000-2000 calories (not including soda), we eat out more than ever, and we have so many people not getting exercise, we have a much better explanation for our national obesity than a potential viral cause. Maybe the virus does what they say it does - but I don't think it excuses overeating and laziness - and I think those are the significant causes of obesity whereas the virus would be a very minor contribution.
Very good description, benjmd, I also tried to tell the same thing in a different manner and was intended to show few of the bottom lines of the article in this link

which read as

"For me, it seems premature that people will be obtaining this antibody test," said Dr. David Stone, an infectious disease expert at Tufts New England Medical Center.

And a waste of money, according Stone. He said larger studies are needed to prove this virus causes anything and believes if there were something to this idea, the pharmaceutical industry would have jumped on it long ago.

"I don't think you could catch obesity like a flu virus or a common cold virus," said Stone.

Some nutritionists NewsCenter 5 spoke to say this idea of a virus will only distract Americans from the work they need to do to prevent obesity -- eating right and exercising. That' s one equation, they say, that has been tested and works.
I don't believe this fat virus theory. It's only in recent years that fatness and obesity has become a problem in affluent countries. For the majority of us, food is too ready available. Most people have no idea how many calories they are consuming a day, or how much sugar and fat. Fast food outlets and restaurants offer giant-size portions which are totally unnessasary for peoples needs.

While children are given chocolate bars, crisps and fizzy drinks for breakfast or given money to buy junk food on the way to school. obesity will continue to be a problem.

Next time you're in town, notice how many fat/obese people are eating jumbo size bread rolls or other jumbo size food.
I completely agree with woundedhealer. Yes there are people out there with conditions that make them obese but those are a select few. A large number of people out there that are obese are not exercising and eating unhealthy foods in unhealthy proportions. The 'fat virus' is likely to give people a reason to be fat/obese. Once someone has an excuse for being that way, the chance they will work to get away from this current situation is extremely low. People need to take more responsibility for their own health and stop looking for excuses. Again, I undertand that there are some that are unable to deal with it but these people are a small minority.
BMI is an extremely rough guideline as to whether one is obese or not. It is recognized, but not as the end-all in discussions. You see, BMI doesn't say how much body fat you are, it only says how much you weigh. It doesn't take into account muscle percentage at all- if an athlete weighs more than an inactive office worker due to a high muscle percentage, does that make him obese? Overweight? You see, the results are a bit ambiguous.
Drawingguy wrote:
BMI is an extremely rough guideline as to whether one is obese or not. It is recognized, but not as the end-all in discussions. You see, BMI doesn't say how much body fat you are, it only says how much you weigh. It doesn't take into account muscle percentage at all- if an athlete weighs more than an inactive office worker due to a high muscle percentage, does that make him obese? Overweight? You see, the results are a bit ambiguous.

I agree that this is true for athletes... but the large majority of Americans do not have that sort of muscular build that would put them in the overweight category while having a healthy body fat percentage, which is why it is still a bit useful. I once justified my own BMI of 26 by saying that I was just stronger than most guys but otherwise would be in the healthy range. Then I cut back on calories and upped the exercise and found myself at a BMI of 23 with more strength than I had had at the BMI of 26. But the "overweight but not really overweight" NFL players we speak of generally have BMIs of 25-30. They do not fall far into the obese category. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people with BMIs over 30 undeniably have some extra fat to lose. That guy in the mall with the beer belly standing in at 5'11" 210? BMI 29.

(Ray Lewis - BMI 32 @ 6'1" 250, Peyton Manning - BMI 27 @ 6'5" 230)
Seems to me that while the 'fat virus' theory does carry a little weight, it would seem that since it is mostly prevalent in North America, that would tell us a little bit about the average North American lifestyle. Americans eat more, take bigger portions, are always consuming food and generally live lives revolving around one thing: food. (Please note I am not intending insult to Americans; being Canadian this is one thing that I have noticed.)

I recently took a holiday to London, and while I and my family were there, we were able to pick out most of the North American tourists simply by the fact that they were mostly obese. A sad fact, but it can be said that the British lifestyle is simply more conservative than the Americans'.

Of course, one could always argue that the fat virus was caused by the unhealthy, stereotyped American lifestyle...

Now does what I just said sound completely bogus, or does it ring a bell?[/i]
I think this study is pretty much premature. There are still other studies being held in order to explain why humans keeps or store fats on their bodies and finds out if there are other factors that affects this activity, that is, if there is such a so called virus or disease. But for now, that in order to keep these fats in control, it is suggested that we live a healthy and active lifestyle by going to the gym, having enough rest, eating the right kind of food and doing a less stressful activities.
Good article on "virus antibodies" but what nourishes the system to create antibodies? Food. So it's back to "square one". You can blame the virus the whole day or for the rest of your life, but you are not powerless to overcome what can be overcome.

Eat living foods, because living foods do not get stuck in the body as unwanted extra fat.
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