Viral Weight Gain


Contributing Writer
Jeffrey Barkstrom

In our office, we sometimes see people, who before coming to us, no matter how much weight they have lost, they always gain it back and more. What could be going on here? Recent research points to some surprising alternatives.

Under our current medical system, obesity is starting to be thought of as a disease. A large part of our current health care expenses, 21 percent or nearly $191 billion in annual expenses in the USA, are direct or indirect costs relating to obesity. Childhood obesity alone is now costing more than $14 billion in direct medical expenses. America is the first country in history where a large portion of the population is eating themselves to death.

New research finds that besides just eating to many sugars, a small percentage of the population has been infected with a virus that can cause obesity. Adenovirus-36 (Adv36) is a virus that has been found in animals to increase body fat by 50 to 150 percent. The interesting thing in the research is the infected animals did not eat more, but they still gained weight.

In humans, testing found that on average humans affected by the virus gained more that 50 pounds more than those not affected. Research found that the virus gets into the fat cells causes them to take in more glucose (sugar) to make more fat in the cells. This change in chemistry causes obesity to happen quickly.

The good news is that people who have been affected the Adv36 lose weight faster than those not affected by the virus. At the same time, people affected by the virus tend to gain weight faster than non-infected people. It is a serious catch-22.

The answer for people affected by Adv36 is very careful attention paid to the diet and following normal advice such as avoiding grains and sugars. Short term diet plans will cause this person to lose a lot of weight but without long term life style change, the weight will creep back up. Long term changes in diet and life style are the key to the Adv36 positive person. In our office, we find that incrementally changing habits over the long term and being accountable to someone for your diet are the best ways to lose weight and have it stay off.

If you have any questions, you can visit us at or feel free to attend one of our workshops.

Jeffrey Barkstrom has been helping people with health and weight loss issues for more than 12 years. He has spoken at colleges, businesses, non-profits, national conferences and on television about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. He currently practices at Barkstrom Acupuncture PC, Natural Health Improvement Center in Jamestown, NY. Learn more at or at