The explanation of obesity as a simple result of positive energy balance fails to account for the scope of variable responses to diets and lifestyles. It is postulated that individual physiological and anatomical variation may be responsible for developing obesity. Girls in poor families develop greater adiposity than their male siblings, a trend not present in richer environments. This indicates strong influence of estrogen on fat accumulation irrespective of poor socioeconomic conditions. Obesity rates in males and females of developed nations are similar, while in poorer nations obesity is much more prevalent in females. Female to male ratio of obesity correlates inversely with gross domestic product. Therefore, the parity of male and female obesity in developed countries may result from male exposure to environmental estrogen-like substances associated with affluence. These hormonally driven mechanisms may be equally active within both sexes in more developed areas, thereby increasing overall obesity.