I have no doubt that genetics plays a part in obesity. I know a rail-thin guy whose only exercise consists of standing in line at Quiznos. He could seemingly eat a pint of ice cream everyday without becoming obese. But that doesn't mean that the people who do get obese from eating a pint of ice cream everyday have a disease. This is the distinction that these billboard ignore. I don't know of any obese person who got that way from eating healthy and exercising consistently. If such a thing were possible, you'd expect to see the occasion obese impoverished Indian using a Hoveround™ to forage for goods in a Mumbai trash bump.
Sure, some people retain fat a lot easier than others. But when those people can't resist the urge to pull into the drive-through lane at Hardees, that's a decision, not a disease. I worry that these billboards, and the whole "disease not a decision" message in general, make it easier for people struggling with a weight problem--particularly gullible young people--to give into their cravings. After all, if it's a disease, there's no longer a reason to feel ashamed for ordering that extra milkshake.
So who has an interest in promoting this message? NotADecision.org connects to the bariatric surgery page of Community Health System's website. If you eliminate all hope of losing weight by eating responsibly and exercising, you can sell more surgeries.
Shameful. Damn shameful.