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V – Virus – Is it possible this epidemic of obesity was caused by a virus?

Adenovirus 36 and it's effect

As I have said before in previous posts, it wasn’t until I arrived at my present place of employment, did I really pack on gobs of weight.  It’s a great place to work.  The people are so friendly, and we are all driven with one goal in mind, to take care of the children, so they can be happy and healthy. Sure, it can be stressful to work with children that are seriously ill, but we make the best of it, we all get along and enjoy each other and the work we do.  And there is nothing better, than that last hug from the child, who is now healthy and on their way home. Those are precious hugs!!!!

When I arrived here,  in California, I was probably about 20 pounds’ overweight.  On my 5’9” frame that 20 pounds wasn’t really unsightly, it was just annoying, and I didn’t like being heavier than I needed to be. But within 3-4 years of being at this hospital, I gained an enormous amount of weight, close to 40-50 pounds within an unbelievably short amount of time.  To gain that kind of weight, would mean eating an extraordinary number of calories and being completely sloth-like in my activity.  And honestly, I don’t believe I was overly gluttonous, or sedentary.  Now that I have my Apple Watch – I know how many miles I walk at work, and on a slow day, it is at least between 2-3 miles/day. On a busy day, when I am walking those long halls, back and forth, it can be up to 5 miles a day.

I used to beat myself up over having little self-control to have become so overweight.  But then about 2-3 years ago, I noticed a very curious thing. I would bump into other people in the hospital, and having not seen them for a while, either because I hadn’t been to their department, or we just hadn’t crossed paths in the hospital, they too had ballooned overnight.  When I last saw them, they had been thin, and now they were enormous, like me.  What on earth?

I brought these observations back to my kids, who have managed to lose boatloads of weight through strength training and diet.  I said, “It is so curious how people at my work, have gained so much weight in such a short amount of time.”  My boys said, “It is poor diet and inactivity.”  I disagreed with them.  “I don’t think so, there is something more to it, because really none of us are sedentary when we are at work.” My oldest said, “Well, I have friends that are nurses, and they are always under so much stress, they eat on the run, snacking on things that aren’t good for them.” Again, I disagreed, “No, I think it is a virus. It seems like fatness is contagious at my work.”   My kids laughed at my idea. My boys can be a little self-righteous, they are like ex-smokers, who think if they can quit smoking, anyone who can’t, must simply be a weak-willed idiot.

We used to think gastric ulcers were caused by stress, and poor diet – but now we know it is caused by H. Pylori.  We used to think cervical cancer just happened but now we know it is caused by the Human Papillomavirus, and there is a vaccine to help with prevention of being infected by that particular virus.  So – what the heck?  I don’t think it is a completely whacked out idea to consider that maybe one reason for the obesity epidemic could be a virus.  Just look at the way obesity has spread through the hospital where I work.

So – I did some research.  It turns out a virus has been linked to a sudden gain in weight, resulting in obesity. The Adenovirus 36.  Adenoviruses are usually responsible for causing cold symptoms.  But this one virus, discovered by a physician from India, after a friend of his, told him how an entire flock of chickens had become ill and started gaining insane amounts of weight.  He studied these chickens and discovered they were all infected with the same virus. After much research he identified the virus as Adenovirus 36.  The virus is so clever, it causes stem cells to convert into fat cells, and triggers the already present fat cells to become even larger.  Of course, much of the scientific world still believes the only things responsible for obesity, are overeating and inactivity.  They scoff at the idea that a virus discovered in chickens in India could possibly be one of the reasons for the obesity epidemic, because it hasn’t been proven that this virus can be transmitted from chickens to humans. But if that is the case – how is it we can contract the Avian Flu?

In one article I read, it said the increase in the numbers of obese people spread much like an epidemic does, so it is not completely out of the realm of a possibility.  They laughed at Louis Pasteur, with his theories on microbes.  He is quoted as say, “In the field of observation, chance only favors the prepared mind.” Maybe all these laughing scientists, just aren’t paying attention.

What seems to be a very interesting book, The Secret Life of Fat, by Sylvia Tara  is scheduled to be released in December 2017 and includes an excerpt on this subject, the obesity virus.

Maybe, I am not so far off about fatness being contagious. Ages ago, I wrote a post about how little we understand the reasons for the obesity epidemic or really anything that goes on around us,

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