By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is an age-old question: nature versus nurture.

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We always seem to pit our genes against our lifetime experiences when we look at our physical and emotional traits but this is often a big mistake. The truth is that we are usually a combination of heredity and life experiences.

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According to an article in The British Medical Journal, there is no greater example than in the case of diet and obesity.

They say you may want to be extra careful if obesity runs in your family. Harvard School of Public Health researchers looked at the interactions between genetic predisposition and consumption of fried food in relation to body mass index (bmi) and obesity. They found that eating fried food is especially likely to worsen obesity in those who inherit the so-called “fat gene” compared to those who do not possess this gene.

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You may be set up to have problems and, eventually, it is the choices you make that determine what happens.