Obesity—A Disease With Many Aetiologies Disguised in the Same Oversized Phenotype

Has the Overeating Theory Failed?

Peter Stenvinkel


Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2015;30(10):1656-1664. 

In This Article

Obesity—An Infectious Disease?

The rapid spread of obesity around the world resembles, in many ways, a pandemic of infectious origin. As human adenoviruses (such as Ad 36) stimulate enzymes and transcription factors that accumulate triglycerides and differentiate pre-adipocytes into mature adipocytes, virus infections have been suggested to cause obesity.[14] Atkinson et al.[98] demonstrated that Ad-36 antibodies were not only more common in obese (30%) than non-obese (11%) subjects, but they were also associated with paradoxical lower triglycerides. Thus, the possible relation between adenovirus infections and a favourable fat phenotype' should be considered.