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Puzzling Observation

To begin with a recent study finding that Obesity in children is linked to common cold virus was found as it is presented in an article written by Saey Tina, H. In this connection, the initial observation that brought about the inquiry followed the past studies that have revealed that both animals and people showed that adenovirus -36 is associated with obesity. In particular, a study carried in US three cities revealed 30% of obese people had the virus against 11 percent found in lean ones (Karusa and karusa 240).  Again in this context, experiments on human cells carried in the past revealed that the virus promoted weight gain. The past studies in this connection were done with adult cells which were infected with the virus (Saey 5). Observation showed that the cells made more fat cells and as such the fat cells stored up more fat (Shors 271).


Following this point, the inquiry was directed towards validating what has been studied in the past and thus answers the question of whether the virus may be linked to the obesity pandemic which has become so prevalent among children. From this puzzling observation made, the question of why, how and what caused the observation comes in the scene. Questioning this observation is important in the sense that it will evaluate how the study was made, why it was done and the cause of the observation made. This will test the validity of the results and thus the right measures to fight obesity would be made with efficacy based on the results. In line with this, the question of why, how, or what caused this observation, will eliminate any element of doubt and thus establish the authenticity of the study and the study results.

As a matter of fact, the article on the Obesity in children being linked to common cold virus is a study which is an answer to a question. As such, the study tried to answer the question of whether adenovirus-36 was in anyway associated with obesity in children. As such, children exposed to adenovirus-36 were likely to be obese than children who had no evidence of infection (Saey 5). In this context, the article under discussion was meant to answer whether the link between childhood obesity and adenovirus-36 existed which is a virus that causes colds and ailments in people.

Proposal Explanation

The proposed explanation in this article has to do with the hypothesis being suggested by the author. The author's possible hypothesis or supposition in this case it is an answer to the question whether Adenovirus-36 is linked to childhood obesity. As such, the author suggests that there is a link between the common cold virus and obesity in children. At the same time, the author was trying to validate what has been put forward by other researchers that the virus is related to obesity in individuals (Russell 178). In the light of this, the author supposes this theory to be true. At the same time, the author suggests that the virus might be the cause of increased body weight. The alternative hypothesis in this case by the author is that the adenovirus-36 is not linked to childhood obesity and the fact that it may be not true that the virus is related to obesity in people.  

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Test/ Experiments

Having formulated the hypothesis as highlighted, the authors attempted to test the supposition through practical studies. The test took in 67 obese and 57 normal weight children whose age range was between 8 to 18 years of age (Saey 5). They were tested for the presence of antibodies against adenovirus in their blood. In this test, it is evident that there was a control test in the sense that the author tested obese children against normal weight children in order to compare the two sets of tests.

There is a possibility that the hypothesis may not be supported owing to the fact that there are other external effects that might have been assumed. As such, the author made the assumption that the obese children if found with the antibodies, it implied that they were infected with it. On the other hand, there was an assumption that absence of adenovirus-36 antibodies meant that there was no adenovirus infection. The test in this case did not consider the effects brought about by other factors other than the Virus and as such, provision of those obese children without the antibodies along with the normal weight with the virus was not included.

Fundamentally, the expected results of the experiment are that obesity in children is linked to common cold virus. As such, children who are obese are expected to test positive for adenovirus-36 and those who are normal are expected to test negative of the adenovirus-36 test. This is to mean that a large number of obese children are likely to have adenovirus-36 antibodies as opposed to a small number of those who do not have.

In the light of the experiment carried out, 19 children were found with the antibodies, of which 15 were obese while the others 4 were normal in weight. Interestingly enough, the obese kids who had the prior infections of adenovirus-36 infections averaged about 35 pounds of fat more than obese kids who had no prior infections of the virus. Another result was that 22 percent of the obese children had antibodies other than one for the virus as compared to7 percent of the normal kids (Saey 5).

Comparing the predictions or rather the expected results of the experiments with the actual results, the appropriate conclusion is that Obesity in children is linked to common cold virus. In this sense, among the 19 found with antibodies a large percent of them equal to 15 were obese and as compared to the ones obese without the antibodies, they were fatter by 35 pounds (Saey 5). This is a clear indication that children exposed to adenovirus-36 are more likely to be obese as opposed to those without the evidence of the infection. It is important at this point to again point out that the author's conclusions were appropriate owing to the past studies that supported the relationship between adenovirus-36 to obesity in individuals.

Given the data of 67 obese versus 57 normal weight children, 15 obese children with the adenovirus antibodies and 4 normal without, the authors had enough evidence to conclude that obesity in children is linked to common cold virus (Saey 5). However, it would have been better if the authors used the same number for the control test of the normal kids as for obese kids. Even though the data supports the hypothesis, the authors point out that there is no evidence that the virus cause people to gain weight. Furthermore, the authors have no data to support the fact that if one gets the virus is automatically going to be obese or, if the person does not have the virus will not be obese. This gives room for further research and as such, the hypothesis is supported though limited owing to the part played by the external factors.

Critically looking at the tests and the explanation made in the article, there is need for more varied data sets to be tested in order to cover a wide range of data for confirmation. As such, though the hypothesis is supported, there is need to perform several other related experiments in order to confirm the validity of the results. Nonetheless, the article reveals a new dimension in seeking to fight against obesity pandemic around the globe. The new study in this case brings the aspect of not only focusing on fast foods and lack of physical exercise of children among others as the only causes of obesity among children.

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