Achoo…you're fat.

Imagine that you’ve let your diet slip over the past few months. Too many chalupas and not enough….real food.

Imagine that you’ve really started to pack the weight on. Muffin top, love handles, saddle bags…all that stuff.

Luckily for you, medical science is working hard to provide you with an iron-clad excuse for your extra adipose.

An Obesity Virus.

And believe it or not, this may turn out to be a real thing.

When I first wrote about it, the science behind the obesity virus was pretty sketchy.

But now, we have research that shows that children who tested positive for adenovirus36 antibodies weighed almost 50 pounds more, on average, than children who were AD36-negative.

The Research

Dr. Jeffrey B. Schwimmer (UCSD) examined 124 children, ages 8 to 18, for the presence of antibodies specific to adenovirus 36 (AD36).


  • Slightly more than half of the children in the study (67) were considered obese.
  • The researchers detected neutralizing antibodies specific to AD36 in 19 of the children (15 percent).
  • The majority of the AD36-positive children (78 percent) were obese, with AD36 antibodies much more frequent in obese children (15 of 67) than in non-obese children (4 of 57).
  • Children who were AD36-positive weighed almost 50 pounds more, on average, than children who were AD36-negative.
  • Within the group of obese children, those with evidence of AD36 infection weighed an average of 35 pounds more than obese children who were AD36-negative.

So, what does this mean to you?

According to Dr. Schwimmer,

“Many people believe that obesity is one’s own fault or the fault of one’s parents or family. This work helps point out that body weight is more complicated than it’s made out to be. And it is time that we move away from assigning blame in favor of developing a level of understanding that will better support efforts at both prevention and treatment. These data add credence to the concept that an infection can be a cause or contributor to obesity”.

According to Health Habits,

This means absolutely nothing…..until the day that researchers develop an anti-viral that can block the effect of AD36.

We all know people who can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. Lucky them.

Whether it’s a virus, hormonal imbalance, malfunctioning hypothalamus or simply bad eating habits learned at your parent’s kitchen table, we are ultimately responsible for our actions.

And if you’re one of those unlucky people infected with AD36, and you want to stay lean & fit, you’re just going to have to work a little harder than your buddy with the hollow leg.