The conventional wisdom is that obesity is often, if not always, the product of poor dietary choices and a lack of exercise. But Dr. Arya Sharma, an MD and PhD who current holds the Alberta Health Services Chair in obesity research at the University of Alberta, and who founded the Canadian Obesity Network in 2005, thinks that the conventional wisdom is wrong. Yes, he says, healthy food and exercise are important, but our lives are structured in ways that make getting enough of both very difficult for many of us, and nearly impossible for those who also have to overcome socio-economic barriers. As the medical director of the Government of Alberta’s obesity initiative, a five-year plan that was launched in 2011 to help the estimated one million Albertans who struggle with obesity, Dr. Sharma will continue to help shape our view of the condition, its causes and its potential treatments.