Why is the battle of the bulge so hard to win? One answer to this question maybe a person's set point. A set point is a person's range of body fat and muscle mass they tend to maintain. So when people try to eat less the set point increases a person's appetite and decreases their metabolism not allowing them to lose weight. An obese person has a set point that is much higher than a thin person. Another reason the battle of the bulge may seem impossible for some people is their genetic makeup. In some cases of obesity a mutation in the melanocortin-4 receptor gene occurs. This causes a person to never feel full regardless of how much they have eaten. The Restaurant Industry also has played a role in the increasing obesity rates in the United States. Portion sizes served in restaurants are over 25% larger now than they were in 1977. A heuristic known as the Unit Bias causes people to eat more food when more food is given to them. With all of these causes of obesity is it still possible to stay fit these days? The answer is yes, and here are some helpful tips. First eat food on a smaller plate, this will make the portions look larger and help you eat less. Also when looking for a diet or weight loss plan avoid the ones that guarantee extraordinary weight loss in a short period of time. These plans are usually not very effective. Find a plan that helps you change your everyday habits and makes exercise a part of your daily routine. I am interested to hear what other people think of this topic. Do you think genetics carries the majority of the blame for obesity, or is it a person's habits? Also what do you think is the most effective way to become fit?