Re: what's the difference between us and the people who answered that study:
Again, I'm taking a wild guess, but is it possible that strong mental perceptions are a key in all that? I mean, we're here now discussing this book, but we are part of a support community that helps a lot, lots of people here are maintainers so they ALREADY KNOW it is possible, and the others aren't at goal weight, but they were still confident enough to read the book, knowing the conclusions it entails and the studies contained in it. I would say we are people who don't get easily discouraged (or not anymore), and who are convinced/know that even when fighting bad genetics, it doesn't have to end with our losing the battle forever.
To quote a part from the linked article, too: "And, he added, unlike the blind or the deaf, fat people are told that they could be thin If they really wanted to. "It's kind of a double punishment," Dr. Brownell said."
But... isn't the truth that it is, well, sort of true--in that we DO have the ability to start working on our lifestyles, just walking more, that kind of things? (People on medication that made them gain weight are probably a whole other matter, though.) It hurts to say it, but in most cases, indeed, a blind person will remain blind, but the overweight one at least has the CHOICE to try and do something about it. Maybe it'll fail, maybe in the end s/he'll succeed. That's the important part for me--the ability to DO something, even if it's doomed to fail, vs. the helplessness of being disabled for life and knowing nothing will ever help.
(By the way, Clvquilts, thanks for adding your opinion. It is interesting to see the point of view of a person who has a disability. I've been thinking about this discussion on an off yersterday evening, and somehow I can't prevent myself from feeling at unease about the opinion that a disability can't be worse than obesity, because to me, it really is.)
Of course, if we take the hypothesis that the obesity would be for good, that again puts things back into another persepctive. Although I'd still choose obesity vs. blindness!
But, again, I'm a helplessly positive and optimistic person (in spite of my spells of bad mood and ranting just to let the stress out), and I've always refused to envision life in terms of "doomed to failure", "can't do anything about it", "that's my fate" and the likes. So maybe I am just too optimistic regarding that?
(I've liked the retort at the end of the quoted article, by the way. "You could just use some manners". We do not HAVE to let ourselves become victims. Even if the whole world is against us. No kidding, hey, WE are the survivors!