Recent research has exposed a link between exposure to a certain virus and weight gain.
Conducted by scientists at the University of California, the study suggested that the adenovirus 36 (AD-36) could have an influence on childhood obesity.
The research, which was published in the journal Paediatrics, looked at a group of 124 children aged between eight and 18.
Over half (67) of this number were considered to be obese, while there were 19 AD-36 positive young people included in the group.
Of the AD-36 positive people, 78 per cent were obese. Furthermore, those that were obese were found to weigh an average of 35 pounds more than their AD-36 obese counterparts.
Jeffrey B Schwimmer, association professor of clinical paediatrics at the University of California San Diego, commented: "Many people believe that obesity is one's own fault or the fault of one's parents or family.
"This work helps point out that body weight is more complicated than it's made out to be."
He added that it is time to "move away from assigning blame in favour of developing a level of understanding that will better support efforts at both prevention and treatment".