Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is fat catching?

New research indicates that a common virus may cause obesity. OK, where do I sign up for the vaccine? And is this virus catching?

Researchers from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge said that exposure to the virus Ad-36, which is known to cause respiratory and eye infections, also causes human adult stem cells to store more fat.

The NIH now says 97 million American adults are overweight or obese. They haven’t published stats on how many of those have respiratory and eye infections.

Another recent study said that people who hang out with fat people tend to be fat and people who hang out with thin people tend to be thin. So maybe this fatness virus is catching.

Of course another way to fix the obesity problem is by changing its definition. It worked for math SATs. When the math SAT test was recently revised questions on geometric proofs, imaginary numbers, and trigonometry were eliminated from the new test. Those changes were necessary to keep math SAT scores from continuing to fall. Evidently this was a better alternative to doing a better job of helping students learn. So all we need to do is ratchet up the pounds or BMI numbers to qualify for being overweight or obese.

But if they do develop a fat vaccine, will that be covered by health insurance? Hillary, any comment on that?

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