Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘virus’

For God’s sake, you can’t “catch” fat!

Posted by sanityinjection on January 26, 2009

File under: Idiot Science.

Some researchers have actually discovered a virus that they think may be linked to obesity. Test have shown that the virus can lodge in fat cells and start replicating, producing more fat cells.  Other studies suggest that three times as many obese people have contracted this virus during their lifetime compared to normal people. (Never mind whether obese people are three times as likely to have caught any virus generally, that is a question for Smart Science. This is Idiot Science, where we confuse correlation with causality.)

Of course, the biggest problem is not with the scientists, but with those who will use this as more fuel for the idea that obesity is a disease. For the vast majority of people (not counting those with glandular or hormonal conditions), obesity is not a disease. It’s caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but chiefly by DIET AND LACK OF EXERCISE. Duh.

Even if you caught a virus that was making more fat cells in your body, if you were burning enough calories, you still wouldn’t get fat. Duh. So what’s the best way to fight obesity? Eat healthy, smaller portions and exercise more. This is not rocket science. Duh.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am about 10-20 pounds overweight. While not clinically obese, I am under no illusions as to the cause of my condition. It is not caused by a virus. It is not caused by me living too close to power lines or wind turbines. It is not caused by MTBE in my water. It happened because I stopped getting enough exercise. Duh.

I am not suggesting that it is easy to lose weight. I am saying that it is simple to lose weight. Those two words don’t mean the same thing. Same goes for smoking. Not easy to quit at all, but very simple to quit. Just stop putting lit cigarettes in your mouth. Duh.

Meanwhile, people are dying of Ebola and other horrific diseases with no cure, and we’re spending money studying obesity?


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