This is huge if it's correct. Obesity is a very serious health issue for millions of people, and I've never really been convinced that it's "all" genetics. Granted, different groups have more of a propensity, but Americans from the Midwest and South, who are the most obese, are still vastly heavier than people in Europe from whom they descend, i.e. Scandinavians, Germans and people from the British Isles.

The culprit: how America processes chickens. A virus present among chickens (and 30% of Americans) turns on the fat cells to be "greedier".


Chickens are dirty animals in the best of environments (my father preferred not to eat them for that reason), but raised in the crowded pens that are common, and fed antibiotics and hormones, they pass viruses and bacteria to each other and then into humans. That's also where SARS comes from: chickens from China.

My mother spent most of her childhood and youth on a farm, where conditions were actually optimal, and still she treated chickens like they were toxic waste: brined them in a special, dedicated container, used disinfectant, like bleach, on any surfaces and utensils, and washed her hands constantly.

It's the one meat I only buy if I think it really is "organic", has been free range fed, and still I take all those precautions.

I don't think vegetarianism is good for growing children, but if my children were young again I would definitely consider not feeding them chicken, and definitely not any sort of fast food chicken, where I'm sure you're getting the worst of the lot.

If this pans out after further research, they really should put a lot of money behind creating a vaccine.