In a time when anyone can have different body parts replaced, tucked or removed, fat people have always had it bad. Until now, and it isn’t just liposuction that's being called to the rescue.
There may soon be a vaccine to protect against getting excessively fat, something that may be a common staple for children’s vaccinations to go with those for polio and measles, and may prevent obesity in people right when they are still young.
Obesity is an affliction that affects 64 percent of adults in the United States. A variety of pathogens cause infections that trigger an increase in fatty tissue in animals, said Nikhil Dhurnadhar, a researcher of Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, in the annual meeting of the obesity society called the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) in Vancouver, Canada.
Dhurandhar expresses how infection does not explain obesity but that “infections can be one of the causes.”
Studies also show that obese people are more likely to be exposed to a certain virus that correlates to a link between viral infection and obesity, raising hopes that such a link could lead to a vaccine.
Dhurandar, who became interested in viral causes of obesity in Bombay during the 80’s during an outbreak of an adeno virus SMAM1 that kills chickens, said there is proof that there are several different pathogens cause fat gain in different species, and humans being likely candidates for inclusion.
He collaborated with Richard Atkinson at the University of Wisconsin and worked with the adeno virus AD36, which may have important indications for links to obesity. They found that obese people who had been exposed to the virus were 20% heavier than other overweight people, and even twins that were studied who had one twin of the pair exposed to virus almost unanimously attained greater weight.
It may take less than a decade for this dream to come to fruition, as Dhurandhar himself declares that "In 10 years, people may be able to walk into a clinic and be told that their obesity is due to X cause, such as genes, the endocrine system, or pathogens. That may have a more productive outcome than a blanket treatment right now, (which) is not very successful."
This bit of good news couldn’t have come at a more convenient time, as reports have surfaced about how obese men, the elderly and those with certain conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and hypertension who undergo obesity surgery are in danger of dying, or at least far riskier than previously thought.
The risk of death is anywhere from 1 in 500 for what is becoming an increasingly popular procedure, as more people take advantage of a relatively swift way of solving what could be their lifetime of emotional suffering and distress brought about by the many troubles borne of being portly. It gets even worse for certain people who are over 65, such as those on the US federal health insurance program Medicare, where the probability of death jumps to about 1 in 50.
However, this bit of good news gets even better for the opposite sex (men are just doomed), where a study by the same NAASO has found that obese women who lose wait see an improvement in the quality of their sex lives.
Whether it’s physical, physiological, hormonal or psychological-- weight loss reduced complaints of feeling sexually unattractive and therefore improved desire-- people who lose weight not only feel healthier, but sexier, experiencing the double whammy of increasing returns as this supports them into a cycle that motivates them to continue losing weight more, experiencing a healthier lifestyle, and ultimately feeling sexier for it.