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Old 01-26-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
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Arrow Catch The Fat - Scientists suggest obesity can be caught like cold

Yet another reason / excuse for society to discriminate against people of size.

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Scientists suggest obesity can be caught like cold

By Fiona MacRae
The Courier-Mail
January 27, 2009 12:01am

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574...-36398,00.html

* Scientists say obesity just like a virus
* Can be spread by dirty hands
* Virus causes fat cells to multiply

OBESITY can be "caught" from another individual in the same way as a cold with the virus spread by dirty hands, scientists suggest.

The condition has been linked to a highly-infectious virus that causes sniffles and sore throats.

The adenovirus apparently attacks tissue and causes fat cells to multiply - leading to massive weight gain, The Courier-Mail reports.

Previous studies have shown that chickens and mice infected with the bug put on weight more quickly than uninfected animals - even when they do not eat more.

Now human studies show that almost a third of obese adults carry the virus compared with 11 per cent of lean men and women.

Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar, who led the research, said the bug continued to add weight gain long after those infected recovered from their cough or cold.

"This virus goes to the lungs and spreads through the body," he said.

"It goes to various organs and tissues such as the liver, kidney, brain and fat tissue. When this virus goes to fat tissue it replicates, making more copies of itself and in the process increases the number of new fat cells, which may explain why the fat tissue expands and why people get fat when they are infected with this virus."

The professor, from Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana, said victims could remain infectious for up to three months.

"But people could be fat for reasons other than viral infections, so it's really pointless to try to avoid fat people to avoid infection," he said.

Learning more about adenovirus's role in weight gain could speed the development of an antiobesity vaccine, or drugs to tackle the condition.

Obesity experts, however, dismissed evidence of a link with adenovirus as "sparse". Tam Fry, of the Child Growth Foundation, said: "You are much more likely to pick up the flu than obesity.

"In general, obesity is down to eating more than you need and not exercising as much as you should."

Dr Ian Campbell, a GP and medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said: "A virus will never be the reason for why we have an obesity epidemic.

"There are far too many other factors, starting with our calorie intake exceeding our expenditure, and that's because we live such sedentary lives.

"Our dietary habits have changed beyond belief and I don't believe that's the effect of a viral infection. It is the fault of the commercial expansion of companies making unhealthy foods."
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:56 AM   #2
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i had a roommate in university who was a nutter, after I moved out she told everyone that she was glad - she didn't want to get fat because it was catching...silly, but I guess according to this article, she may have been right
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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I saw this on the afternoon news today, they interviewed some London Dr who totally ridiculed the whole study, but then said 'If I was a grant giver Id definately give them a grant to do more research into the notion...' So I dont get it, if he thinks its that ridiculous, then why would he say its worth funding extra research?! I know why, because the diet/weightloss industry is a multi-billionaire money maker, and if this research is true and obesity is seen as a virus, then there will have to be a shake up of weightloss idustry to factor in the virus. Would this then make society more apathetic to people of size? I doubt it!
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:00 AM   #4
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This makes me want to...rub on people.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by liz (di-va) View Post
This makes me want to...rub on people.
haha totally!! i want to catch the fat!
What a lot of shit this study is..
If i read about another fat study i'm going to stab my eyes out with a plastic spoon!! i swear it!!!
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Aren't there like 20 stories about this in the Library?
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Zero View Post
Aren't there like 20 stories about this in the Library?
Well, i read in the papers the other day about a magic potion that made a skinny model gain 300lbs over night!! i almost couldnt believe it!!
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Um... I can't be hanging out with you fatties anymore. I think this virus can also be spread through the internut
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:17 PM   #9
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Ha! Certain virologists and microbiologists have been preaching this "fat-virus" bullshit for several years now. Seems to me that most real scientists totally disregard this notion - it's too bad that it only takes a few articles like this appearing in magazines, etc for the hysteria to begin
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melian View Post
Ha! Certain virologists and microbiologists have been preaching this "fat-virus" bullshit for several years now. Seems to me that most real scientists totally disregard this notion - it's too bad that it only takes a few articles like this appearing in magazines, etc for the hysteria to begin
Plus one. I'm still not fat yet. I'm waiting....
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon Blaze View Post
Plus one. I'm still not fat yet. I'm waiting....
It's because you wash your hands too frequently!!
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Zero View Post
Aren't there like 20 stories about this in the Library?
yeah, I was going to say that, and there are.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:55 PM   #13
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Fa FA FA FATCHOOOOOO!
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by liz (di-va) View Post
This makes me want to...rub on people.
That's the precise reaction I had! Fabulous. Let's go clubbing.

All ya'll FAs better get yourselves some bigger pants.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:25 PM   #15
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This is only silly if you view obesity as a disease and try to find THE cause (which in itself is silly). Two hundred years ago, fever was considered to be a disease -- or, rather, a whole family of diseases -- and medical tracts were written about "puerperal fever" and "quartan fever" and how to cure them. But fever is just a way in which a body can respond to infection, and, on the basis of available evidence, obesity can be a response to more than one stimulus. So it's not impossible that an adenovirus could affect the production of fat cells in some individuals, under some circumstances. But if somebody claims it's THE cause of obesity (or that anything else is)...sell him a time share in an oceanfront cottage in Arkansas.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:27 PM   #16
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my sisters immune system must be through the roof lol
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:55 PM   #17
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Default I'm long-winded, sorry.

Doing a PubMed search on this author shows he's been investigating a theory of infection mediated obesity for 10 years, and adenovirae in general for 15 years. An respectable run. Can't tell how well designed the studies are from an overview, but individually they seem reasonably sound in concept.

My main problem is that the conclusions and warnings from the news article overreach and warp the conclusions of the studies themselves. "Learning more about adenovirus's role in weight gain could speed the development of an antiobesity vaccine, or drugs to tackle the condition," is the conclusion the article writer draws. That's a very big leap, knowing how many factors are involved in weight gain or loss. The relative effect size of a brief infection in comparison to more life-long factors is likely quite puny.

It's far more accurate to suggest that learning about the virus's role could tell us a lot about the inner workings of the adipocyte, and expand our knowledge base about how it works in one person versus another. But that's far less salacious, and therefore far less likely to sell newspapers or get renewals for grant money. Here's what I wish they would have talked about:

a) Dr. D claims to have found viral infection can cause replication of fat cells in adults, if briefly. Scientists have generally believed that once you reach adulthood, a person has a fixed number of fat cells, and they merely expand or contract with changes in weight. If this is not the case, that may change our thinking about a lot of things related to what happens when a person puts on weight. Also, a model where something replicates that isn't supposed to might come in handy to a cancer researcher or two, I think.

b) He also notes after viral infection, insulin sensitivity seems to increase in these fat cells. If you can figure out why that happens, you may have a new avenue to think about diabetes treatment, which is probably of greater global benefit than helping people get the slim beach body they always wanted. Reading this, my completely unscientific and baseless hypothesis is that people who are fat, yet have no evidence of diabetes may have replicated new fat cells, rather than expanded old ones, and that this is somehow protective in some manner. I hope that occurs to someone in that lab...

Lastly, just to be on the safe side, no ladies rub up on me. In fact, I dare you to try. Go on, see if you can do it. Bet you can't...
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:10 PM   #18
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not the exact same topic but an interesting PBS special that explores the physiological mechanisms that may influence the production of fat for the folks who haven't seen it yet : FAT:What No One Is Telling You.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/...i&filetype=wmv
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:50 PM   #19
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Great. Now certain people will get the view that we are diseased and should be segregated.

If this sort of science garners any more support, it could led to some very dangerous ideas.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:33 AM   #20
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Well for the last two thousand years people thought that there was only one reason for obesity. Lack of self-discipline, or as known in the christian world, giving in to the sins of sloth and gluttony. By the way, a view still held today.

Now, scientists are now having to admit that this is not always the case, and since we also have myth that obesity is directly linked to medical conditions, thanks Dr. Kellog, we are running around look for a cause so we can find as cure for it.

Just last night, they were talking about a study that suggests that obesity leads to memory loss, and also suggested that weight loss actually improves one's memory.

But then again I believe I have seen obesity being blame for almost every medical condition out there.

Will we ever get to the studies the test that actually study the so-called link between obesity and health conditions? Maybe after we trying linking obesity to ingrown hangnails or psoriasis.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:22 PM   #21
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I am proudly wearing all the FAT some jackass gave to me if I did get the virus. I should maybe warn all my skinny friends to enter my house at their own risk and put up yellow caution tape saying "don't breath I may make you FAT. " Scientists are looking for some study to keep them employed and news well they just need ratings.

I have decided to write in the memo's of my checks " Fat is contagious !!! handle at your own risk" when writing co pays for the Dr's. I too come with warning labels.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:31 PM   #22
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Does this mean superfat people are supercontagious?

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Old 01-29-2009, 03:51 PM   #23
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If it's true then how come most FA's aren't fat? Lol - some of them have rubbed up against an awful lot of us fatties and still never caught the virus...

Tracey xx
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeaBea View Post
If it's true then how come most FA's aren't fat? Lol - some of them have rubbed up against an awful lot of us fatties and still never caught the virus...

Tracey xx
Us FAs are probably just carriers who spread it around...
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:33 AM   #25
kayrae
doot doot doot
 
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,205
kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!kayrae keeps pushing the rep limit!
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BeaBea, you have made me lauuuuugh! I can't seem to rep you though. But I will. That shit is hilarious
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