As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic , there is another pandemic that been going on for decades without any end in sight.
The other pandemic is obesity !
Obesity has caused far more deaths than the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vaccines promise to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a vaccine can sort the obesity pandemic ? It does not need to be rhetorical question or wishful thinking.
An article in Science magazine reports an association between obesity and a type of body immune cell called macrophages. This raises the possibility of using immunotherapy for obesity.
There is also another tantalising possibility. Behaviours, emotions and eating wrong type of food are often blamed for obesity. What if the entire scientific thinking about obesity is wrong?
In the past, another widespread condition used to be blamed on wrong food and stress. Stomach ulcers used to be very common and very distressing. Modern stressful life, emotions and wrong type of food were universally blamed for stomach ulcers. Then an Australian team proved stomach ulcers were due to an infection. Now stomach ulcers are routinely treated by antibiotics!
Obesity is common among the disadvantaged people in society. All types of infections are common in disadvantaged people. So it is not beyond the realms of plausiblity to hypothesise (suggest) that obesity could be caused by an infectious agent that affects food intake in some way, by possibly affecting sense of taste or smell of smell or feeling of fullness after eating (satiety).
If an infectious agent (e.g bacteria, virus or prion) is indeed found to be responsible for development of obesity, then the vaccines would provide a very easy way to prevent obesity.
Please note: The science magazine article on immunotherapy is based on excellent, high quality scientific work. But the possibility of an infection being responsible for obesity is merely a scientific hypothesis or scientific suggestion. It is based on a personal hunch. It is NOT based on any direct high quality scientific data at this stage !
Science Magazine. An anti-obesity immunotherapy? https://science.sciencemag.org/content/373/6550/24
BBC. Over a million hospital admissions for obesity
By Sophie Hutchinson
Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and may change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice.