Childhood obesity could be due to viral infection

41687.jpegNew research from the US appears to back the suggestion that obesity may be triggered by a virus infection: it found that children had a higher chance of developing obesity if they had been exposed to a particular type of adenovirus.

The study was the work of researchers from the University of California (UC), San Diego School of Medicine and appears in the 20 September early online issue of the journal Pediatrics, Medical News Today reports.

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine studied children age 8 to 18 for the presence of the AD36 virus that is currently linked to obesity.

Adenovirus exposure is common in children. According to the CDC the virus commonly causes respiratory infection but can also cause gastroenteritis, bladder and eye infection and rash-type illness.

The scientists found that children with the virus antibody weighed an average of 50 pounds more than children testing negative for adenovirus 36. Children with active infection weighed 35 pounds more than those who tested negative.

"This amount of extra weight is a major concern at any age, but is especially so for a child," said Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at UC San Diego, who is also director of Weight and Wellness at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, eMaxHealth reports.


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