October is here, and it brought the cold and flu season with it. There’s a lot of little things you can do to protect yourself from these pesky and sometimes dangerous viruses. There are many tips for staying healthy during these winter months, like wash your hands, disinfect shopping cart handles, get a flu shot, and lose weight.
I did, in fact, say you should lose weight in order to reduce your risks of contracting the cold or flu this year. I really wasn’t surprised when I read about this. Obesity causes and exacerbates so many ailments including heart disease, periodontal disease and diabetes by impeding our immune systems. Past research has clearly linked obesity and the inability to fight off the cold and flu virus.
MSNBC reports that recent studies point in a slightly different direction. Some cases of childhood obesity may be caused by a common cold virus. In fact, it’s estimated that 20 percent of obese children have the antibody for the virus, AD36, in common. This is good news for the small percentage of people who really do try everything but still can’t lose the weight. A vaccine for AD36 may be able to lower the percentage of childhood obesity. Or, maybe overweight children are simply more likely to catch a cold. It’s clear that more research needs to be done involving the link between obesity and the immune system.
Whether we’re talking about obesity causing colds and the flu or the flu and colds causing obesity, it really doesn’t matter. The way I see it, it’s one more reason to maintain a healthy weight. The best thing you can do is implement an active lifestyle and wash your hands often!
October 5th, 2010