A new study has found that people who suffer from obesity are more likely to blame their weight on their lifestyle rather than on their genes.
Amy Brogan, a researcher at Trinity College Dublin, carried out research to find out why obese men and women believe they are so overweight.
Her team asked 20 obese men and 52 obese women to cite the causes of their obesity.
According to Ms Brogan, who presented the findings at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Dublin, more than 70 per cent blamed their obesity on a lack of physical activity, overeating and comfort eating.
In contrast, people rarely thought that their obesity had a genetic component.
Ms Brogan commented: "Our study has shown that obese people are aware of the causes of their weight problems and see their obesity as stemming from a complex array of issues, rather than a single factor.
"The challenge now for professionals is to understand how this complex representation can be used to help individuals lose the weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle."