Scientist Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar postulates that obesity might be caused by a cold-like virus, rather than eating too much or genetics.
This documentary, scarily entitled 'Fat Plague', is to examine whether the theory holds any weight, or if it's just one more Banoffee Pie in the sky!
We've set up a message board in Members Forum, for those who'd like to discuss the fascinating fat plague concept. Take a free trial of Weight Loss Resources to join the conversation.
Having seen the programme, the team at Weight Loss Resources are very sceptical. To go from a virus that affects chickens - SMAM1, to choosing a virus from a book - Deno Virus AD36, with what Dr Dhurandhar himself calls "unbelievable luck" does seem somewhat unscientific.
Dhurandhar then goes on to test AD36 on a small number of obese Americans, and finds that 30% of them have antibodies for AD36, which would suggest that, at some time or other, all have been infected by what he calls the fat plague virus.
Our main question here is, what about the other 70% of people - how did they become obese?
Then tests were carried out on obese people in England. In this (possibly more controlled) experiment only 1 in 6 - less than 17%, had antibodies to the virus - which means that 83% did not.
Apart from the fact that the numbers don't seem to stack up, Dhurandhar can not (or will not) explain why and how people become obese after being exposed to the virus.
Possibly the thing that made the most sense to us in the programme was a comment about Wisconsin - one of the ten fattest US states, and "home of the yard long Bavarian sausage"!
Of course whether fat is caused by a virus, overeating or something mysterious - there's still only one way to get it off - eat less calories than you burn. Weight Loss Resources has all the tools you need to do this, try it out yourself - free. Most people find it a real eye-opener!