Thanks to a WHS reader* for reminding me of the above quote by Dr. Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health**. This is a concept that helps reconcile the following two seemingly contradictory observations:
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- Roughly 70 percent of obesity risk is genetically inherited, leaving only 30 percent of risk to environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle.
- Diet and lifestyle have a large impact on obesity risk. The prevalence of obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, and the prevalence of extreme obesity has increased by almost 10-fold. This is presumably not enough time for genetic changes to account for it.