The dreaded flu season is once again upon us. Carrying excess weight can compromise the immune system and can allow viruses like severe cold and flu to more seriously affect those struggling with obesity. There are several simple precautions that everyone should take, including frequently and thoroughly washing hands, trying to stay clear of those already infected with the flu virus, visiting the doctor or clinic for a flu vaccine and, now, losing weight. A study performed at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, and reported on by Diets in Review, revealed that carrying excess weight can impede the immune system by interfering with the body’s ability to mount a sufficient immune response to the flu virus. Even the common cold can last longer and result in more severe cold and flu symptoms for those that are overweight. During an influenza pandemic, it is very common for flu vaccines to become scarce, forcing patients to be qualified by a physician to receive the vaccine. Because the flu vaccines can take several months to develop and manufacture, including obese individuals very seldom makes it to the top of the priority list.