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An epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes is exploding in the United States and elsewhere. Many scientists are presently searching for genetic causes of obesity and diabetes, in hope of finding targets for treatment and prevention. Meanwhile, epidemiologic studies of geographic differences, time trends, age at onset, ethnic and racial differences offer clues about the role of nature and nurture in the etiology of obesity and of diabetes. The results from epidemiologic studies of different racial and ethnic groups are particularly provocative. Why is obesity, and/or unfavorable body fat distribution, more common among people of color? Why are "the colorless people" more protected for a given weight or body size?