Have scientists proved that obesity is actually contagious?

New study suggests weight gain could be contagious

Well, that's very interesting indeed...

Didn't think being sick had anything to do with gaining weight? Think again.

Scientists have revealed that obesity could be infectious, after discovering a virus that causes colds and sore throats could also lead to weight gain.

The research presented at the American Chemical society has discovered a gene in the virus that encourages obesity. The common human adenovirus (ad-36) virus is already known to cause common cold symptoms, but the research discovered it can turn cells into fatty tissue.

A previous study had showed that 30% of obese people carry the virus, compared to an average of 11% across people of a healthy weight. The latest study is the first though to prove that the virus may actually cause weight gain, by converting normal human cells to fat cells.

Study leader Dr Magdalena Pasarica, of the Louisiana State University said of the finding: 'The results are clear...We conclude that human adenovirus Ad-36 increases the number of fat cells and increases their fat content in humans, which might contribute to the development of obesity.'

The discovery may lead to the development of a vaccine to prevent weight gain.

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.