Unconventional wisdom about the obesity epidemic.
Diet and sedentary lifestyle, interacting with "thrifty" genes, are widely accepted as the principal cause of the current global obesity epidemic. However, a number of alternative etiologies for obesity have been proposed, including "drifty" genes, viruses, bacteria, environmental toxins, social network effects, maternal imprinting, sleep deprivation, and others. These Grand Rounds reviews the background of some of these unconventional ideas and evidence for or against their roles in the obesity epidemic.
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