Several studies have shown that different people, when fed the same unhealthy diet and are restricted to minimal exercise, gain weight differently. Some will quickly gain the excess pounds, while others can live off a diet of deep fried cheeseburgers and still be supermodel thin. Clearly, genetics do play some part. However, this should in no way be used as an excuse not to take control of one's health, but rather the opposite: If one does have the "obesity gene", then like someone with a family history of heart disease or diabetes, they must be extra careful about their health.
I don't think anyone would disagree that weight gain can be managed through diet and exercise. But I have seen too many families who are obese to disregard a hereditary component. Whether it's an appetite or craving for high fat foods, an inability to regulate volume, or difficulty losing weight once it's gained, there seem to be families who are forced to battle obesity together. These may be factors that are caused by common habits or practices, but to disregard a genetic component would be foolish.
I believe obesity is hereditary. I don't believe it is in all cases, but there a some families who seem to have a tendency towards obesity, and not just through lifestyle or food choices. I believe that the chemicals that have been added to food in the last century have changed something in some peoples' DNA which has led them, and their offspring, to be more susceptible to obesity.
Studies have shown that scientist have found an actual obesity gene. I agree that it exists and that some families carry this problem on in their families, but I also see it as a cop-out for some. There are many who appear to be emotional eaters and will eat in order to cope with daily struggles. Folks who allow their children to be extremely obese will use the "hereditary" argument in their favor. In some cases this may be so, and in others it's a matter of discipline and learning when to say no to your child.
It's all about the choices we make. End of discussion. I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I've learned in my fifties now that eating a carrot is the way to go. Why settle for complacency? Why not treat our bodies as the temple that they are? Tired of accepting obesity as the norm.
Family has an impact on how you eat or exercise, and sure there is an obesity gene. But not every obese person has it. I'd say like 1 in 10000 people has it. Anyone who thinks they inherited their obesity is just looking for an excuse to not try and lose weight. Because they are LAZY.
Sure, there might be the obesity gene. However, do 2 out of 3 people in this country (the statistics of overweight/obese people) really have such a gene in them? Maybe 1 in 1000 or 10,000 have it which in case may explain their severe obesity, but 2 out of 3?
Obesity really is only a problem that has come up in the last 40 years or so, since we transitioned from a more active lifestyle, and much healthier overall diet, to one that is far more sedentary, with a heavily processed diet. This is the main reason obesity is the problem it now is, it has nothing to do with past generations, and everything to do with how we live and eat. Change those things, and the problem will go away. Look at Asian culture, they were much much healthier before the western diet was introduced there. Only after that did they show some of the problems they now do, similar to our own. That is not coincidental, the two are interconnected. How we care for ourselves, has had a huge impact on our overall health.
So I don't think obesity is hereditary at all. It's a problem we created ourselves.