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BRIANLIEBERTH Posts: 634
6/20/13 2:41 P

the ruling was made and from what I have read the hope is that more insurers will cover obesity treatment such as surgery medicine etc. This I believe will backfire in the long run. Except in a small amount of cases this is a life style disease. Increasing coverage for surgery and medicine have traditionally had a low success rate long term so will simply raise costs without fixing a problem. By encouraging this they will discourage the real treatment, education and knowledge about what can be done in our own lives to reverse obesity and fall back to big pharma to fix the problem. I hope I am wrong, but I have seen this in so many markets of our economy.

Today's quote:
Do or do not do; there is no try

--Yoda
SCHEALTHNUTT SparkPoints: (48,581)
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6/20/13 2:22 P

I feel that it is a symptom of a disease, but whatever puts it to the forefront and gets results is great!!

ELIJAHSMOMMY1 SparkPoints: (2,615)
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6/20/13 2:13 P

Hot4fitness I see what you are saying, I guess I just think about the choices we all make to be healthy or not....or to teach our children the same. I also think of crazy lawsuits like people blaming restaurants for making them obese....I do hope if it is going to be labeled a disease it helps but I still feel that too many people will use it as an excuse, not a reason to get better.

What I do think is great though is that more people /groups are trying to set a good example and teach more people about healthy choices :)

M Taylor
HOT4FITNESS Posts: 2,492
6/20/13 1:54 P

ELIJAHSMOMMY1 I think we need to look outside the box on this decision. The majority of obesity is caused by addictive behaviors and poor lifestyle behaviors. It is really no different than smoking (has a diagnosis as Tobacco abuse) the use of tobacco is a choice, same with alcoholism it is a choice, an addiction. yet a diagnosis as well I think we all need to look at this decision in a more positive way. Obesity as well as childhood obesity is a terrible epidemic and maybe this decision is a step in the right direction to work on resolving this issue. At this point nothing else has improved the situation, so why not give it a chance.

Edited by: HOT4FITNESS at: 6/20/2013 (13:56)
ELIJAHSMOMMY1 SparkPoints: (2,615)
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6/20/13 1:31 P

I do not personally believe obesity is a disease, there are thyroid problems or other issues that can contribute to weight gain but If someone has chose to be unhealthy ( like myself) It is not a disease it was just not the best lifestyle choice, and like myself those people may not have known how to better but the knowledge is out there, I think labeling it a disease almost makes it sound like there is an excuse for it, and there is not.

M Taylor
HOT4FITNESS Posts: 2,492
6/20/13 1:07 P

ELMA1913 Drinking and smoking are diseases. Alcoholism and tobacco abuse are both a medical diagnosis Yes addictive behaviors have caused our fatness. But this epidemic has gone on to long as its getting out of control. If classifying obesity as a disease it what it takes to kick it in the butt,then so be it. Nothing else at this point as worked, so whether money or industry help persuade this decision, let us give it chance.

Edited by: HOT4FITNESS at: 6/20/2013 (13:44)
DEEASHAUB05 Posts: 3,350
6/20/13 12:48 P

Hi,

I think it is easier to be obese if you have family that is obese. All of my mom's side of the family are over weight, but my father's side of the family was not. I am built just like my mom, and she is over weight, but I have my dad's dark hair and eyes.

Dee

Let Go Let God!
ELMA1913 Posts: 5,051
6/20/13 12:45 P

Oh boy. That is a tough one - I don't know if I would call it a disease, more of an addiction, like smoking or drinking. Do we call those diseases? It's not something we "catch", more of a lifestyle.

IMATIKIGIRL SparkPoints: (1,835)
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6/20/13 12:43 P

I was really surprised to hear that ruling. I don't believe it's a disease (not trying to upset anyone, just my opinion). Most people can lose weight, you just have to work at it. I do think some diseases make it harder to lose weight, or if you take certain medications for disease it makes it more difficult. Also that being obese causes diseases. But to classify it AS a disease, no.

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SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,254)
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6/20/13 12:20 P

I hesitate to call it a disease. It is a condition caused by poor choices and yes, mental health plays a big role. I have definitely experienced using food to cope with life. I have learned to keep that in check, for which I'm very grateful but I still don't consider it a disease.

Edited by: SUZIEQUE77 at: 6/20/2013 (12:21)
JUHISAXENA SparkPoints: (83,288)
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6/20/13 12:15 P

Yes

VEG_GIRL04 Posts: 1,295
6/20/13 12:13 P

It's a slippery slope -and as many have said, it's driven by industry and money.

What does classifying Obesity as a disease do? The downfalls people have pointed out like having a pre-existing condition or having to pay more for healthcare is a possibility. But others think that perhaps a doctor will be able to refer you to a nutritionist for this disease - and your insurance will have to cover it. What about gastricbypass? Or required fitness trainers as treatment? Covering more counseling for weight caused depression or depression caused by weight?

The last thing we do need as a society though is an excuse. We are all examples on this site of people who have recognized their lack of commitment to fitness and nutrition and changed that. Don't let this be an excuse - let it be a reason for you and those you know to change for the better.

"Number one, like yourself. Number two, you have to eat healthy. And number three, you've got to squeeze your buns. That's my formula."
-Richard Simmons
THERESACHANGED SparkPoints: (37,613)
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6/20/13 11:51 A

I dunno about a "disease". It's all semantics, I guess, but I would characterize it more as a condition with a wide range. Some people, like my hubby, simply overeat because they love food. Others, like me, have a long, emotionally disordered relationship with food (for me, bulimia & binge eating). But, then again, I don't think any addiction is a "disease", but rather a habit reinforcing condition that causes problems in your life. Again, all semantics.

What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
Alexander Graham Bell

"In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer" Albert Camus
JIM_TROTT Posts: 49
6/20/13 11:46 A

Very sad about James. Was it preventable? Maybe, but we can't really know what his lifestyle was by just looking at his images. Jim Fixx died of a heart attack as well.
Is obesity a disease or a character flaw, an immorality?

I'm afraid I'm not personally qualified to confuse cats, but I can recommend an extremely good service.


RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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6/20/13 11:38 A

I find this a fascinating topic with many possible consequences. At this point I think that once you are obese, you do have a disease that could lead to an earlier death. However, how a person becomes obese is often by the choices one makes in areas of eating and exercising. One thing that lead to overweight for me was taking medicine for hives. I had no idea why I weighed more each time I went to the doctor and he told me that it was a side effect of the medicine. That was actually the point where I began to struggle with my weight.

LUV2SURFCHIC Posts: 707
6/20/13 10:51 A

I had a couple co-morbidities (I thought that was a word?) when I weighed 100 lbs more that I no longer have. I think eating healthy, working out, weighing less is helpful. I just had a sad thought about James Gandolfini. Preventable?

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (107,673)
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6/20/13 10:48 A

I agree with PRAIRIEMIMI. Obesity is a conscious choice that one makes. As many of us here on SP, loosing the weight is also a conscious choice. I do agree that being obese, especially morbidly obese, can cause many serious REAL illnesses.

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

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HOT4FITNESS Posts: 2,492
6/20/13 10:37 A

Very interesting posts here. Here is my 2 cents. Obesity is an epidemic, and has been on the rise for years. 66% of americans are overweight. Childhood obesity becoming more and more of a problem. We need to kick it in the butt now! And if classifying it as a disease it what it takes so be it. Nothing else has worked thus far. I agree with some of you that some individuals will use it as an excuse and claim it as a disability. But as my DH expressed this morning many might think " Oh My God, I have a disease" " I don't want to have a disease" and maybe begin to make those lifestyle changes.
As far as the comments about employers and right to privacy. Well, considering that employers pay the majority of most premiums then i think they have the right to do what it takes to keep those premiums down. After all, every time their premiums go up so will yours. Wellness programs and mandatory health assessments are not violating your privacy. Those employees who are overweight, obese, have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure should have to pay more of a premium than those who don't have those issues. Those issues put individuals at a higher risk for costly health problems that put insurance premiums at risk for increase. It is really no different than you automobile insurance looking at your driving record every year. The number of tickets and accidents put you in a higher risk category where you will have a higher premium to pay than those who have a clean record. I guess if one feels that mandatory annual employee health assessments are a violation to them, then go off of your employers health insurance or get private issuance. Of course you will have to answer questions about your health and may be required to have a physical there as well.
The AMA made the decision to classify obesity as a disease, maybe we all need to just have a more positive attitude and maybe, just maybe we can end this growing epidemic. Let's just give it a chance.

SPARKYTHECAT SparkPoints: (21,175)
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6/20/13 10:12 A

When I think of disease I think of something that is usually curable. I know not all diseases are curable. However, what is the treatment? Exercise? eating healthier? I am really working on finding a balance between the two and I don't see it as a disease. It is a problem I struggle with. Maybe it is mental, food has been a comfort for me when I am stressed or depressed but it isn't a disease in my mind. I do think however companies should start making food healthier and post calorie count at every restaurant. I like what McDonalds did. It has really helped me choose something that is better for me when I eat there.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it is a disease that I am battling. I just hope I win it because this road is hard and I don't need or want people looking at me with pity because I am obese or look at me with disgust and wonder if my weight issue is contagious.

God is good all the time!
MOMMAGPLUS11 Posts: 2,669
6/20/13 9:37 A

yes

JIM_TROTT Posts: 49
6/20/13 9:27 A

I agree with Ethel, it's a mental disease. For many people their interaction with food; and how their brain reacts to the stimulation of eating is much like alchohol and drug addiction. It's a tough subject, vastly different for every individual.
Is obesity a disease? It is for some people. That said I think the AMA's decision is slippery.

I'm afraid I'm not personally qualified to confuse cats, but I can recommend an extremely good service.


MATTHEW0498 SparkPoints: (32,534)
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6/20/13 8:27 A

I think it depends on the person. There are some who it may be more of a disease, and others who just choose to overeat for whatever reason.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
6/20/13 7:49 A

I've been reading the thread since I posted and find myself in agreement with a lot of the points made, especially about the possible chilling effect that calling obesity a disease could have on employment and the right to privacy.

I've come to the conclusion even more strongly than I first stated it that it is too soon in our understanding of the cause & effect of obesity to label it a disease. I am more of a mind that it can be a causative factor in disease but is not necessarily a "disease" itself.

Then we get into the issue of body size. Isn't body size a personal, subjective preference? When does it stop being that? When it reaches extremes of morbid obesity or morbidly low body weight?

I don't have an answer for anyone else, but again, for me, body size whether up or down is absolutely influenced by a number of factors, chief of which is what and how much I eat and how and how much I move over a given time period. Like most people, I am intelligent and educated on how to manage those important factors and whether I do so or don't do so for a given time is a choice.

There ARE, as has been said, factors outside of the control of some individuals that CAUSE obesity and THESE can be diseases (as well as meds, nature of the food supply, environment, education, culture, on and on) or not.

So whether the AMA wants to call obesity a disease or not is the AMA's choice, but I wouldn't call it a disease.

Moving in new directions.
PRAIRIEMIMI SparkPoints: (10,536)
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6/20/13 7:36 A

I don't believe obesity is a disease. It is a choice. This ruling is going to have far reaching consequences, few will be positive.

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows, like a shadow that never leaves." ~ Buddha
JGIRL5799 Posts: 553
6/20/13 7:29 A

I wish there was a like button on these threads!

Well said ya all!

Julie

Live, Love, Laugh
ARTSYGIRLV2 Posts: 1,231
6/20/13 7:06 A

We all have our challenges in life. For some of us it's food addiction. Calling everything a "disease" is a cop-out. Not taking responsibility for our own well-being is what's gotten our country into the mess it's in.

FAITHP44 SparkPoints: (65,736)
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6/20/13 6:39 A

There seems to be a difference between US and UK here. In UK I go and see the nurse at the surgery every few weeks and she weighs me and we have a chat. She sent me to the dietician for a few sessions (The dietician was not nearly so helpful as Spark People! I kept telling her that I don't know what 2000 calories a day looks like and she gave me no guidance on portion size etc - just suggested I swap butter for Olive oil spread and had dates instead of chocolate - have you seen the number of calories there are in dates????! Anyway I soon got the info I needed from Spark People)

Anyway, all this is to say that in UK you can get help without obesity being called a disease.

I don't think it should be classed as a disease. If there's an underlying cause, then the cause is the disease whether it's depression, elephantitis, addictions or the disease that means someone has to take drugs that make them put on weight. If the cause is treated it's easier to sort out the symptoms.

MCFHARPIST SparkPoints: (38,803)
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6/20/13 1:29 A

SHERYLDS, I'm with you on this one. Follow the money.

Eliminate "I will try". Replace with "I will".
You are now ready to succeed.
Let's go.
CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (60,692)
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6/19/13 11:07 P

That is a really tough question.

Some people can't help they are overweight and some people can they just don't care to.





SHERYLDS Posts: 12,703
6/19/13 10:38 P

I agree with some of MEGADANCINPEEJ's concerns.
Obviously ... if you are obese, your employer can tell. But money affects a company's bottom line, and if insurance companies increase premiums on obese employees, then a company may start discriminating against obese job candidates (as some companies discriminate against smokers). And then there is always the 'downsizing' issue, you can either downsize yourself, or be downsized by the company

RPS031764 ... I think most of us are here trying to change our lifestyle.....and some of us have been struggling for years. In the meanwhile, the AMA ruling may affect all of us with the impact it has on our pockets/

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 6/19/2013 (22:42)
Sheryl from New Jersey, EST...2015 start wt. 231
RPS031764 SparkPoints: (126,828)
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6/19/13 10:10 P

Looks like we have another excuse. I guess I should stop exercising now. It's not my fault I'm overweight........

ETHELMERZ SparkPoints: (110,159)
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6/19/13 9:51 P

I think it's a mental disease, like obsessive compulsive issues, alcoholism, druggism, smoking, gambling, pleasure and comfort seeking compulsions.........there is more to it than overeating. Nothing to do with "not knowing" you are eating too much, so you need to buy books and magazines and listen to money makers on tv, either.

Plan for tomorrow, but enjoy the heck out of today.
MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
6/19/13 9:20 P

I think there are good and bad aspects to this, and we won't see the full implications in the short term.

On one hand, this is a huge step for people that want to change their lifestyle and prevent other obesity-related diseases. As already mentioned, this would allow obese patients to potentially visit with a dietician to change their lifestyle BEFORE a diagnosis of another disease, whereas before insurance wouldn't cover it unless treating an actual disease (though one could also argue that healthcare really ought to put some focus on prevention rather than waiting until treatment is required).

On the other, I'm concerned about employment and insurance issues and legal issues - can an insurance company refuse to insure an obese person on the grounds of "preexisting condition"? Can an obese person collect a disability check because they have a disease? Will an obese person demand the same standards as someone of a healthy weight, even when it is unsafe, claiming discrimination if not applied? Also, when someone has a disease, it is quite often treated with medication. Are companies falling over themselves trying to create that pill that could theoretically be prescribed to 30% of the population?

There is no doubt in my mind that obesity is unhealthy and causes other severe issues, just like smoking. But I think there are other issues that need to be fixed (lack of education, poor access to healthy affordable food in places, medical/insurance industry built on treatment and not prevention, availability of high calorie food with little nutritional value) that would have served far more good than putting a label on something (which could in conjunction with those things just mentioned have a strong negative impact as well).

Do something everyday that your future self will thank you for.
JGIRL5799 Posts: 553
6/19/13 7:41 P

This brings up another point as well, what about jobs and their employees?

Before I quit my job and went to a better one, my work started a " health screening" each year

You must take it, they take your weight, blood testing, BMI, and other health issue inquiry by the health nurse at the hospital. If you did not do that, you were subjected to the worst insurance plan they offered which was the high PPO deductible.. and the spouses were forced to do that as well...

Did that make it right to force workers to get a health exam and blood work and testing done just to only qualify for the lower deductible health insurance? If you failed the test like they found out you did have diabetes or other health diseases, you were subjected on paying $45.00 more on your premiums.. this included things as if you were over weight as well it did not matter on by how much you were overweight.

I think its a privacy issue and getting into my business, but at the perspective of the health insurances and the employer, is it really helping them making sure the employees are healthy?

As for the discounts and things.. I know our gyms offer a 10% discount of the joining fees but there are no other benefits or discounts.


Edited by: JGIRL5799 at: 6/19/2013 (19:42)
Julie

Live, Love, Laugh
PATTIJOHNSON Posts: 2,075
6/19/13 7:29 P

I also agree with SHERYLDS....was my first thought, too. It's a huge untapped market with a tremendous potential for overcharging patients and keeping those health insurance costs sky high and pharmacies not only profitable, but super profitable.

Many insurance companies already offer weight counseling, but I personally haven't seen one that actually pays for you to go to counseling rather than giving a small discount at places like Weight Watchers or various gyms, which isn't too much of an incentive for the majority of overweight citizens.

And with this, will I be profiled and refused potential jobs because I now have a "disease?" There're a lot of implications by labeling obesity a disease IMO.

Edited by: PATTIJOHNSON at: 6/19/2013 (19:32)
Keep a sense of humor. Remember, laughing burns calories too!

Laugh until it hurts! It's one of the few things in life that's still free!!

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BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,358
6/19/13 6:15 P

Why would those two things be mutually exclusive?

Couldn't you just say "it's a disease, that you can prevent and/or reverse by adjusting your eating and exercise habits"? And then provide people with some appropriate tools/education/guidance/support to enable them to do just that?

Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)
07SOJO Posts: 1,648
6/19/13 6:06 P

I don't think it's a disease. I think sometimes we look for an easy way out. It''s easier to say it's a disease, than to eat right and exercise! I agree with you; it's a choice

You NEVER regret a workout!
Love Sojo
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,358
6/19/13 6:05 P

I would say it fits the criteria of "disease" - you can qualify it by saying it is a "preventable" disease or a "reversible" disease... but it's pretty hard to deny that "carrying significant excess weight" (no matter how it got onto your body) comes with a host of predictable health consequences.

Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)
STRONGERLEANER SparkPoints: (122,042)
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6/19/13 5:04 P

Although I believe obesity could be a symptom of a disease, I don't think of obesity as being a disease in itself. Of course, I'm not a physician.

HOPE: Holding On, Praying Earnestly...from Guidepost Magazine

I'm working my way back to the size I want to be.
On a journey for strength and good health.

--Kimberly
ANARIE Posts: 12,555
6/19/13 4:16 P

"what I found out by talking to them, they never ever once was taught how to eat properly."

That's true for a lot of people. So what would make people (and schools, and doctors) realize that it's important to teach children to eat properly?

Knowing that it's how you prevent a disease!

Seriously, if you were in charge of getting the money to set up a program for teaching children to eat properly, which do you think would be a better way to convince donors to help-- saying that it will help children avoid becoming fat, or saying that it will help children prevent a chronic disease?

It IS partly about money. The AMA stated that they did it so that doctors would change their approach to treatment and recognize that they were responsible for trying to prevent it, but they recognize that it may *also* mean that insurance companies will have to (or be able to!) cover preventive care and treatment. As it is now, if you're obese but it hasn't caused heart trouble or diabetes yet, your insurance won't pay for you to meet with a dietitian. You can't even just go to your doctor to get weighed and measured and talk about your weight loss plan.

As long as our insurance and health care system stays the way it is, doctors basically aren't allowed to do anything unless it's related to a disease or an injury. They don't get paid for anything that doesn't fit a diagnostic code, and if they spend time with patients that they can't get paid for, they will get fired. So if you're obese but don't have diabetes (yet), they can't sit down with you and look at your print-out of your Spark tracker and ask you if you feel any different on the days you have eggs for breakfast versus the days you have cereal. You have to have done permanent damage before you can access that kind of help. They can't even have a discussion with you about the fact that you've crossed the line from overweight to obese. If they say, "You're obese," up until now it was a judgment. Now, it's a diagnosis, and the next sentence can be, "so let's talk about what that means for your health and what are some of the options for getting better."

Just because you can say that obesity is "your own fault," that doesn't mean it's not a disease. Smoker's lung is even more your own fault, but it's still a disease. Your doctor doesn't say, "Yeah, you've got emphysema. You really need to work on that. There's some good stuff on line about it."

Edited by: ANARIE at: 6/19/2013 (16:16)
REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (35,936)
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6/19/13 2:33 P

Also agree with sherlyds on all points..

Fitness is a battle, welcome to the frontline.
Suit up and fight for your life. War is war, no matter what front your fighting..
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JGIRL5799 Posts: 553
6/19/13 1:58 P

Another good point Sherylds!!

I think you hit the head right on the nail with that one.. we all know its going to be around money... they would not do it otherwise if money was not going to be there.

What I find is kinda funny when I worked locally at one of my hospitals, there was 5 girls who went through that surgery, 2 said they would never do it again and gained back almost all their weight and some.. One girl got extremely sick and had complications.

I worked the old fashion way of just eating clean and working out and lost 50lbs.. they were all jealous of me cause "of the hard way" They all thought it was the cheap excuse and easy way out, what I found out by talking to them, they never ever once was taught how to eat properly..

Soon enough they started going back to their bad habits... who ever taught them how to control their bad habits in the first place, but yet its ok to go under the knife for who only knows how much it costs ....
Sugery fixes things.. yeah right...

Julie

Live, Love, Laugh
SHERYLDS Posts: 12,703
6/19/13 1:52 P

Call me a cynic...but I always suspect greed when there is a ruling like this.
I wonder what part the drug companies play in this
I wonder how it's going to affect medical insurance
and I wonder how many more surgeries this will allow as a 'cure' for obesity patients.

Sheryl from New Jersey, EST...2015 start wt. 231
JGIRL5799 Posts: 553
6/19/13 10:51 A

Calling obesity a disease is totally ridiculous.

It is a choice after all of what we do with the food we eat and how we treat food and our bodies, whether we exercise or not, and all the other factors that goes into what obesity really is. Just because some can not control what they do, I think food can be an addition more than a disease as if smoking is. People are careless about themselves, their bodies and what they do with their bodies.. I know because I am still fat and it was because I was lazy in the way I ate, never worked out etc. I have no one to blame but myself for it and I know it.

What happens after having obesity for years and not changing habits of the way we eat and live? People are known to develop diseases as their main cause of obesity. From then spirals a whole new issue of medical bills, medications, hospitalizations, and worse an early death.

Just another excuse of why people are doing what they do, just to feel better about themselves ...oooo it's a disease, well then, that is not so bad now... what will be next? People will be able get a disability check because of it and another reason to live off from the government?

Edited by: JGIRL5799 at: 6/19/2013 (10:54)
Julie

Live, Love, Laugh
EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
6/19/13 9:10 A

I don't know. I haven't been in the obesity category for more than two decades now and for me, health would suffer if I ever re-entered that category. So if it is a disease I don't have the disease so just as I don't want to have lung cancer I don't smoke (or desire to). But food is a more complex issue and I think we poorly understand all the ramifications of eating and how it affects our body. However, I think we all get it that in MOST (not all) cases, obesity is the result of some kind of disconnect between what and how much we eat and move that causes the state of obesity.

Or is there? I don't know the total answer to that except in relation to my own case. My weight is the direct result of how much I eat and how much I move.

Lol, or is it? Again, there are factors even about my own journey that I do not understand.

So I guess as far as the AMA calling obesity a disease, I personally believe it is really too early in our understanding of obesity to do that.

However, calling it a disease will be helpful to people who still struggle with this painful issue, in my opinion, as it will over time de-stigmatize it and it will allow people to get help more readily, in my opinion. So I think it is okay to call it a disease.

Edited by: EMPRESSAMQ at: 6/19/2013 (09:11)
Moving in new directions.
ANARIE Posts: 12,555
6/19/13 8:50 A

Smoking is an action; lung cancer caused by smoking is a disease. Drinking alcohol is an action; cirrhosis of the liver caused by drinking is a disease. Unprotected sex is an action; cervical cancer caused by HPV contracted through unprotected sex is a disease. Working in a coal mine is an action; black lung caused by working in a coal mine is a disease. See where I'm going with this?

The primary reason obesity isn't listed as a disease yet is that it's protective against osteoporosis and a few other conditions associated with being underweight. The thinking was that if it had benefits, it couldn't be called a disease. I don't know what made them decide to change that, but it was never an issue of it being an action or being preventable. They didn't define overeating as a disease, they defined obesity, the outcome of overeating and other causes, as a disease.

If you're not going to define obesity as a disease because it's preventable and usually reversible by the patient's own actions, then you would have to take high blood pressure off the list, too. Most people with hypertension wouldn't have it if they would just change their diet, exercise, lifestyle, and personality. But that doesn't mean it's not a disease.

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6/19/13 8:45 A

I belive that in rare cases, obesity IS a disease. there are certain medical conditions that can bring it on. I dont remember what they are off hand but in those cases, it is beyond the individuals control. outside of that, obesity is a symptom rather than a disease.

It is a symptom of the culture that we have created for ourselves, a symptom of the sedentary life that we live and a result of the pleasure first rather than nutrition first mindset that is the norm of eating today and yes, I do believe in the addictive tendencies that certain salt, sugar, fat combinations can create. Addictive tendencies, sendentary lifestyle, poor/uninformed choices and a culture that pushes unhealthy food because it tastes good do not qualify as a disease.

Obesity is a symptom of a larger problem.

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GRAMMYBRENDA2 SparkPoints: (3,883)
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6/19/13 7:07 A

This is a hard one, as there are some medical conditions that can cause weight gain, and trouble keeping a persons weight under control. So I guess in some ways it is.

On the other hand there are those who just plain over eat, and gain weight.

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CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/19/13 7:05 A

Personally,I believe there are those who have addictive tendencies about a lot of things.
Food can be one.

However, sometimes I believe it is easier for people to claim a disease rather than an addiction (or, in my dad's words, a "hand to mouth" problem).

That way, they can use the excuse that they can't help themselves, I guess.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (106,232)
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6/19/13 6:16 A

Just wanted to throw this topic out there for people's comments. This morning I heard on the news that the AMA has determined that OBESITY is to be termed a disease? Is it really a disease or is it an action akin to smoking? Smoking is a habit that is a choice you make, an action you choose to take yet can obesity be categorized similarly? My feelings are that Obesity is not a disease yet the AMA should recognize and fund obesity related drugs and surgeries for people who qualify.

What are your thoughts?

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