Food isn't the only thing that can make you fat. A common virus may play a role. So, could you be infected? Dr. Richard Atkinson says it's possible.
"I can tell you for the monkeys, chickens, and mice that we inoculated, they got fat. They didn't increase their food intake. They just got fat," says Dr. Atkinson, Director of the Research Senter at Obetech.
Dr. Atkinson's report will be published soon in the International Journal of Obesity. The theory is the substance inside these vials contains human adeno virus 36, or AD-36.
Oddly enough, this virus isn't all bad. While it produced fat in lab animals, it also dropped their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Dr. Atkinson speculates that about 30% of all obese people carry the AD-36 bug. Researchers say the current findings may provide evidence that obesity, in some cases, could be a true disease, and that regular hand washing may not be just good insurance against the flu but that it could protect you against AD-36 as well.