Minneapolis (WCCO) — Flu season is still months away, but new research may give you motivation to start dieting now.
A new study from the National Institute of Health found that obesity increases the severity of influenza A and extends the duration of how long the virus sheds by about 1.5 days.
Researchers observed 1,783 people from 320 households between the 2015 and 2017 flu seasons. Overall, 87 people became sick with the influenza A virus and 58 with influenza B. Of those infected, obesity was found in 42 percent of those who were between the ages of 18 to 92 years old.
Obese adults with two or more symptoms shed the virus for 5.2 days compared to non-obese adults who shed the virus for only 3.7 days.
The amount of time a virus is shedding often correlates to how long a virus can easily be passed on to others.
Researchers propose that “chronic inflammation caused by obesity may be responsible for increased influenza A viral shedding,” said the NIH.
More research will be done to study the correlation between obesity and influenza viral shedding.