Link between childhood obesity and adenovirus 36
Obviously, overeating and a lack of exercise are both primary factors contributing to childhood obesity; however, there are other etiologic factors that may play a role as well. According to a cross-sectional study published in the October issue of Pediatrics, researchers have found a possible link between an infection with a strain of adenovirus and childhood obesity. Among a sample of 124 children, 22% of those who were obese were found to have antibodies to adenovirus 36. Only 7% of children whose weight was within a normal range were found with antibodies to adenovirus 36. Additionally, Charles Gabbert, MD, of the University of California San Diego, and colleagues, found that the mean weight among children with the antibodies was 92.9 kg, compared to a mean weight of 69.1 kg among those without the antibody. According to the CDC, obesity among young people has tripled over the past three decades, reaching 17%. These numbers alone indicate the urgency for more research surrounding childhood obesity. “Longitudinal data are needed to elucidate more thoroughly the role of [adenovirus] 36 exposure in human obesity,” the researchers concluded. Click here to read an article from New York Daily News that discusses this study more.