The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that people should get a vaccination in order to avoid the possibility of flu infection. However, researchers have noted that obese or overweight people are not getting the advantage of the flu vaccine as compared to the common population. And this can be a big issue for the U.S. as over two-thirds of the adult individuals in the country are obese.
This issue was initially noted in the 2009’s first-ever major flu epidemic of the 21st century. Health officers stated that obese individuals were having more difficulty while recovering from flu infection. While the researchers are putting their efforts to find out the reason behind the ineffectiveness of the current flu vaccine on obese people, they also focused on the development of advanced vaccines for flu.
The infectious disease specialist, Stacey Schultz-Cherry, said, “We had never noted that earlier. The flu virus can develop into higher concentrations and expands to reach deeper in your lungs, which is not what should happen during influenza infection.” Moreover, she said that the research carried out at the University of Maryland reports that flu is an infectious disease and can lead to an epidemic. Schultz-Cherry added, “The obese/overweight students had extra virus coming out in their exhaled breath.” In another study, scientists analyzed a few individuals from Nicaragua during a flu outbreak. They reported that obese individuals took one additional day than that of individuals with lower body weight to recover from the flu infection.
Speaking about the disadvantages of being overweight in childhood, the other preliminary research emphasized specific differences in the brains of obese teenagers than that of their thin counterparts. In this research, scientists used the latest MRI techniques to discover signs of reduced “integrity” in the white matter of overweight teenagers’ brains. The researchers noted lower white-matter integrity in a brain area is associated with “reward” seeking and emotional control.
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