Research Finds There's More To Obesity Than Previously Thought

You may think you know why you’re overweight: too much food, too little exercise. At least that’s the common wisdom.

But the real reasons could be more complex and yet to be discovered, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who are asking why we eat too much and move too little.

The Alabama researchers, who studied animals including dogs, cats and rats that live with or near humans and gained weight as a result, suggest the following as possible influences:

  • Light. The amount of time we’re subjected to light may change our eating habits.
  • Viruses. Infection with adenovirus-36 is associated with obesity, according to the researchers.
  • Genetic modifications. Environmental cues such as stress or climate change may be affecting human gene changes.

The research recently appeared in the publication Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British journal for biological science.