To be clear: this is not an excuse for obesity, but rather a cautionary factor. If you have this virus you need to be extra super careful about eating habits.
While this may be a guilt-free explanation for putting on pounds, it doesn't explain all or even most of America's growing obesity problem. But it adds to other recent evidence that blames expanding waistlines on more than just super-sized appetites and underused muscles.
For several years, researchers have looked at a possible link between obesity and this common virus, called adenovirus-36, from a family of viruses that cause colds and pinkeye in people. They had already found that a higher percentage of fat people had been infected with the virus than nonfat people. They had exposed animals to the virus and got them to fatten up and even found a a gene in the virus that causes animals to get obese.