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Blaming the common cold for high rates of obesity in American kids may sound like a stretch, but the idea that obesity may originate from an infection is just the connection researchers at the University of California-San Diego have made. According to a new study, children who were exposed to ‘adenovirus 36’ are more likely to be obese than those children who were never infected with the virus. Despite these interesting findings, more research is in order. “This study shows an association between infection and obesity, not proof that a common virus leads to obesity,” says Dr. Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician in Austin, Texas. In the end, nothing helps keep obesity at bay better than eating a healthy diet. “Even if a virus predisposes a person to gain more weight than other people, that at-risk person must make good food choices, limit serving sizes, stop eating when he is no longer hungry, and exercise regularly,” Dr. Brown says. “It would be great to have a vaccine that protects people against obesity, but I don’t think it is the only solution that will fix the obesity epidemic."
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