I think how Meg is talking is a great way to think about this issue. I do believe I did things that made me obese. I guess now I can sense that perhaps the reasons I did some of those things are because of genetic predispositions, but that doesn't mean I CAN'T do something about it. It doesn't mean I'm absolved of responsibility.
When reading Kolata's book, I got the sense that she thought the people in the research study should be happy to lose 10% of their weight and keep it off. I think she sees the biological explanation as more "pre-ordained" -- thus the discussion about the 20-30 pound float, for instance.
I didn't see a lot of hope in the book.
But I DO see a lot of hope on 3fc and especially the maintainers! Yes, we may have biology working against us, but that doesn't mean it is impossible.
My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences