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9/8/13 5:45 P

There is a school of thought that a huge percentage of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer etc could be prevented by wt. loss and exercise. So is obesity and inactivity the "beginning stages" of all of these? What comes first the chicken or egg. People over eat for a variety of reasons and if obesity is recognized as a disease state then possibly more people could get the help they need to overcome this. The bottom line like anything in life a person must want to be helped and seek help in whatever form works best for them.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/8/13 5:26 P

yes thank you for correction on the topic title....I promise to try harder in the future
I learned a new word today dichotomy

here is a small article from the MAYO CLINIC on CAUSES of OBESITY.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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9/8/13 4:35 P

Thank you, Anarie. Great post.

To ask if it is "either ... or" is a wrong question to begin with. As you say, it assumes a false dichotomy. It can be both. Many diseases are caused (or partially caused) by lifestyle choices.

MSANITAL Posts: 8,049
9/8/13 4:22 P

I like this topic and it has got me thinking at first I said no it is not a disease because you do not contract.. obesity is a result of an action.. and the action is overeating.. is overeating a disease? yes I believe it is a disease, no difference then being an alcoholic. an alcoholic did not contract the disease it was or is the result of an action drinking too much.

What the disease the addiction . the addiction to food eating it or not eating it , alcohol, sex, gambling, hording. those are all addictions and that is what the disease is.. its just that the addiction of food and eating it shows on our bodies. and yes all of those addictions appose a health risk... so is obesity a disease? NO it is a result of an other disease addiction

Edited by: MSANITAL at: 9/8/2013 (16:26)
SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/8/13 11:36 A

There are things we have a choice with and things we have no control of.
But I think there are a lot of ways we can influence our health...
if we understand the factors that contribute towards the actual onset of disease.

I was learning about Dr Terry Wahls and her lectures on Epigenetics.

one minute into the video she said something that stuck with me
What you eat can turn on or downplay the genes you carry for certain diseases.

ALLEYCATTUS SparkPoints: (32,366)
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9/8/13 11:04 A

Interesting question...Lifestyle for sure, disease in some cases,and medications being another cause...some folks on certain drugs for various conditions have great difficulty in losing weight, and have to double their efforts to lose...Obesity isn't always out of choice.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/8/13 10:49 A

SHERYLDS: Good topic, and your choice of title is close enough for most of us to understand what issue you wanted us to discuss/debate. You made a good choice of subject for people to share their views about obesity and what are the root causes of it.

"The Issue: Is obesity a disease or a lifestyle choice?"

A somewhat long, but informative, article about the pros and cons of labeling obesity a "disease."

"Obesity is, with few exceptions, created by the person who is obese, or by his or her surrounding environment. Moreover, obesity in and of itself is not even bad. It can create disease, but is not a sickness itself."

KITTYCAT64 Posts: 599
9/8/13 10:28 A

It could be either. I think that the majority of obesity is caused by lifestyle.

LOUIE-LILY Posts: 5,246
9/8/13 10:23 A


SCHEALTHNUTT SparkPoints: (49,055)
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9/8/13 10:21 A

Either, but the percentage from disease isn't that great. Predisposition and lifestyle are the big kickers IMHO.

FRIDAYSMOM2 SparkPoints: (18,002)
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9/8/13 10:03 A

This is an interesting question indeed. One school of thought is that diabetes (particularly Type 2) is a self-inflicted disease, caused by poor lifestyle choices. I want to point out that many Type 2s (including myself) have an issue with this position. About 80% of Type 2s are overweight or obese when diagnosed. If overweight or obesity causes Type 2, then why are 20% of us of "normal" weight when diagnosed? It's not as simple as that, and I am tired of being blamed for having diabetes. As pointed out in some other posts, there is some research that indicates that being overweight or obese is caused by Type 2, not the other way around. This has yet to be proven, but we do know that blood sugar that is not used by the cells ultimately is stored as body fat. So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? About half of my relatives on my mother's side are Type 2. It tends to hit in our 50's. Of all the relatives, only one of us was overweight at the time of diagnosis. That said, I do know that lifestyle choices can have a major impact on the progression (or lack of it) of this disease. But to anyone who believes it is caused just by lifestyle, please understand that this explanation is too simplistic and amounts to blaming the victims, and think again. Thanks.

JENNIEQKA SparkPoints: (34,658)
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9/8/13 9:44 A

As far as my beliefs go - lifestyle. I do not underestimate the influence of genes nor exclude the fact that certain medications or medical conditions do bring about weight gain, however, the very Spark Community is a powerful resource in favor of my choice. I have read numerous stories about people who have been overweight or obese from Day 1 on this planet, and yet, by choosing a different, healthier lifestyle have turned into healthy adults with normal BMI.
I take myself as an example too. I have been in that category all of my life and now I know that 40 yrs later is not too late. I can make the change, I am changing by making wiser choices and not blaming it on anybody else but my lazy butt. emoticon

TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
9/8/13 8:05 A

I believe it is a little of both. no one knows what its like until we walk in each others shoes.
remember people say we have to fix what's in our head first before we can lose weight and be happy.

ARMINDA6 Posts: 108
9/8/13 7:59 A

I believe it is lifestyle. I have looked at school children the last few years. When my daughter was in school in the 80's there was only one obese child in her class but now there are more over weight children than the thinner kids. Kids are not as active and that is a choice parents and they make. They eat at the fast food places and that is a choice they make,. They buy the bad stuff at the store and that is the choice they make. When my last 2 grand children were born I asked my girls not to start them on fast food, just the good foods! If they never know what deep fried food taste like then they will never want it. Lifestyle choices is the key to living a thinner and healthier life.

SHOOPETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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9/8/13 7:31 A

Lifestyle, I read an article about research on twins who had a genetic condition that caused/favored obesity. The twin who exercised and ate healthy was at a normal BMI but the twin who did not was obese.

THROOPER62 Posts: 33,715
9/8/13 5:43 A

life style choices

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/8/13 4:48 A

ANARIE...there are only so many characters in the TOPIC line when you start a thread....I did the best I could.

There are people who believe that disease caused their weight gain. Sometimes they live in denial while the pounds add up. They will go to a doctor and complain...looking for an explanation. They've heard how genetics can affect obesity. They've heard that people gain weight with menopause. They've heard that certain drugs make you gain weight. ..... and for some perhaps there is a medical explanation for their weight totally outside of their control. And then there is a problem of what we do to our metabolism with yo-yo dieting, too low a calorie level for too long a time, and aging, etc., They may have a desk job and take a 10 minute walk during the day....isn't that enough?

But ...Some people have to learn to read LABELS. Sometimes they really do not understand what their food choices and portion sizes are doing to them. They find out that 2 servings of veggies/fruits a day, is not enough. Some people get a rude awakening when they start logging what they are actually eating and see the calorie count. Some people get shocked when they actually start weighing and measuring, and find out that they were constantly eating 2 or 3 portions at a time. They learn to look at ingredients, fat content, sugar content, the salt...and they learn what's in the stuff they've been eating. And exercise is a whole other issue...(I'm still working on mine)

It's not a one size fits all world. The experts can't agree...why should we.

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 9/8/2013 (04:59)
MOMMYOF2RN Posts: 579
9/8/13 3:33 A

Lifestyle definetly! Obesity can then laed to disease, some diseases may be genetic and then cause the obesity but for most part I believe it's lifestyle

KRISUA SparkPoints: (277,985)
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9/8/13 3:23 A

combination of pressure and expectations

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
9/8/13 2:34 A

The question is nonsensical. In a logic class, it would be marked wrong and you would have to re-write the essay. You're trying to make an either/or question when the two choices aren't in the same category-- the technical term is "false dichotomy." This question is like me going in to see the dermatologist and asking, "Doctor, is this mole on my shoulder dangerous or is it from too much sun?" The answer might be "both," "neither," "yes and no," or "no and yes." The mole might be cancerous but not caused by sun exposure, or it might be a harmless spot from too much sun, or maybe it's a genetic benign mole, or maybe it's cancer from sun exposure. There's no way for the doctor to answer the question the way I asked it.

I think it's pretty obvious that obesity fits the definition of disease. A disease doesn't have to have a single cause-- in fact, MANY diseases have multiple causes. The only reason obesity wasn't listed as a disease sooner is that it actually has some minor benefits. It's protective against osteoporosis, for example. Being listed as a disease also doesn't necessarily mean it'll be treated surgically instead of by lifestyle modification; it just means that it's more likely that insurance will cover services from a dietitian or exercise therapist. Right now, doctors say, "You're obese. Lose weight." If it's a disease, they have to say, "You have obesity. Here are some ways to lose weight." And it's also a lot easier for medical researchers to get money to study a disease than to study an undesirable physical type.

As for the cause, it's too much food at too low a price. The increase in obesity over the last 40 years is entirely explainable by the increase in calorie consumption. The average American's daily calorie consumption today is over 300 calories more than it was in the early 1970s. That increase in calories comes fairly evenly from ALL categories of foods. We even get more calories from vegetables! Interestingly, the largest contributor to the increase is from fat, not sugar (although we do eat altogether too much sugar.)

When people blame the "experts" or scientists or the government nutrition education efforts, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. When did ANY expert ever say, "Get the Value Meal with the giant French fries and the 40-oz Coke."????? Even the very first government nutrition advice posters, back in the 1910s when the concern was that people were too thin and men weren't strong enough to fight in the Army, said to limit sweets and eat more vegetables. Advice on specific foods changes slightly as new information is discovered, but the basic idea of "Vegetables good. Candy bad" hasn't changed in over 100 years. Today's "My Plate" is a little different from the 1950s "Food groups," but that doesn't mean the food groups idea was wrong and "made us fat."

The only problem with the various government nutrition advice systems (or any expert advice that's science-based) is that this is a free country so they can't force us to take the advice. If we had LISTENED to the food groups, or the food pyramid, or "my plate," we wouldn't be so fat. You can't blame the experts for being ignored! Seriously, show me ONE normal, healthy person who ate the way the food pyramid recommended and became obese from it.

Where the government *is* somewhat to blame is that they made food too cheap. Americans spend less of our disposable income on food in the home than anyone else in the world, and we spend less of our disposable income on food today than we did 20-40 years ago. In the 70s it was around 16% on average, and now it's down to just over or just under 10%, depending on who you ask.

And what that ends up meaning is that saving money on food doesn't make much financial sense. When a down payment on a house was $500, trimming $5 off your grocery bill every week meant you could really make some headway. You could have your down payment in 2 years. Now, even if you save twice that much, your kids would be grown by the time you could save your house down payment out of your grocery budget. So where's the incentive to skip buying the $3 gallon of store-brand ice cream? There's an awful lot of people out there thinking, "There's no way I can save up enough money to send my kid to college, so by golly I'm going to let her have a danged cookie when she wants one!"

But none of that affects whether obesity is a disease or not. Others hit the nail on the head by comparing it to lung cancer. The vast majority of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Smoking is a lifestyle choice. Most cases of lung cancer could have been prevented by the patient him/herself. But nobody would even begin to suggest that lung cancer isn't a disease because the patient made a bad lifestyle choice. The two things exist independently from one another.

NOBLEEQUESTRIAN SparkPoints: (5,640)
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9/8/13 2:25 A

I firmly believe that obesity is a lifestyle choice. While I understand that genetics may make some individuals more prone to this particular lifestyle this does not mean obesity is caused by a disease.

Obesity has not been a problem for the thousands of years humans have been around until the past couple decades. It's clearly a lifestyle issue, not a disease.

I worry that if people start treating obesity as a disease than obesity is slowly going to be taken more and more lightly and will be more and more accepted among the public.

The day that America accepts obesity as something 'uncontrollable' or 'beautiful' is the day that we are all doomed.

HELIANTHEAE1 SparkPoints: (4,381)
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9/8/13 1:30 A

Obesity and Diabetes are quite often correlated...interesting thing that the studies are showing, however, is that obesity may be partly resultant of diabetes.

That being said, type 2 diabetes can often be regulated by nutritional intake.

Edited by: HELIANTHEAE1 at: 9/8/2013 (01:32)
GOING-STRONG Posts: 6,981
9/8/13 12:33 A

I'm going with lifestyle, however there is definitely a biological trigger involved. If I eat certain foods (like sugar) my appetite goes through the roof and my eating is much more difficult to control. There are also emotional aspects to eating. For me, stress and anxiety trigger cravings for food... it is my drug of choice. Some people turn to illegal drugs or alcohol but eating ... particularly fatty or sugary foods is something many people "use".

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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9/8/13 12:10 A

I think obesity is lifestyle but slight overweight can be nothing more than genetics.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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9/7/13 10:58 P

Beautifully said, Cirandella! That is one of the best constructed sentences I have read in a long time.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
9/7/13 9:47 P

I think mostly lifestyle but medical issues (not necessarily disease), food supply and other factors, some we don't even know about yet, contribute.

GANEC5104 Posts: 419
9/7/13 8:42 P

my opinion: mostly ... lifestyle

GLEORIA SparkPoints: (68,860)
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9/7/13 8:31 P

I believe obesity, weighing too much due to eating more calories than burned, can result in a syndrome of diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/7/13 8:13 P

from the U.S. National Library of Medicine - The World's Largest Medical Library

Type 2 Diabetes
Family history and genes play a role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your chance of getting the disease.
The goal of treatment at first is to lower your high blood glucose levels. Long-term goals are to prevent problems from diabetes.
The most important way to treat and manage type 2 diabetes is activity and nutrition.

once again lifestyle, part of the problem and part of the solution

KAYAHSLOANE1 Posts: 10,467
9/7/13 7:48 P

I think obesity is more of a lifestyle issue than a disease!

THINJIM1 Posts: 3,030
9/7/13 7:25 P

my guess would be 90% lifestyle

CIRANDELLA SparkPoints: (0)
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9/7/13 7:20 P

What a great question! I suspect that the more we know about the microorganisms that live in the gut, the rich supply of neuroreceptor chemicals to be found there, and the genetics of obesity, the more we'll understand about the complex array of permutations which feed into this problem.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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9/7/13 6:22 P

Yes, you definitely have to change your lifestyle! My friends who have some well make healthier choices then the 2 who haven't done well. I have one friend who dumps if she eats more than a fun sized candy bar. She is glad she does, says it keeps her from over indulging.

A friend describes the surgery as a tool. Like any tool if you use it well it can help you get the job done. If you try to misuse a tool you can get hurt.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/7/13 5:52 P

Even with surgical approaches to addressing obesity, lifestyle modifications are part of the treatment ..

Bariatric Surgery Center at Highland Hospital

New Eating and Exercise Patterns
Surgery will help you lose weight. You'll lose plenty of excess weight during the first year after your operation.
you'll have to CHANGE your eating and exercise patterns to ensure that weight STAYS off.

lifestyle is a big part of the solution

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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9/7/13 5:08 P

Lots of good points being made and a good discussion!

I agree that in many cases we have been led down the wrong path by our "officials". We have been told that so many things are good and/or bad for us at the same time. It is hard to know what is good and what is bad for us. Many times if you can follow an article to the original source you find that it has no relationship to what is quoted. Sensationalism sells, hard science is boring. And I do think that many times our experts do think that we are stupid. And if you look at what people like to watch on TV and how many copies of People are sold as compared to Scientific Weekly, it's sometimes hard not to blame them.

We have also been conditioned to not be wasteful so many of us are members of the clean plate club.

I have read many peer reviewed articles about how once you reach a certain level of obesity your body changes to accept this as the new normal. They are talking 100+s or more overweight and how body chemistry changes and make it more difficult to lose weight. There are also many articles about how our bodies physically change as we become more obese. For examples, our stomachs stretch to hold more food. When our stomachs are continuously over stretched that becomes the new normal. Satiety is felt when the stomach is stretched. If you have a larger stomach it now takes more food to reach a satiety level that makes you quit eating.

Gastric surgery and some medications help with weight loss by reducing the food intake, shrinking the stomach and helping you reach that happy, full feeling faster. Bypass has also been showed to be an effective treatment for diabetes and hypertension. To me, if someone can afford to and wants this type of help they should go for it. I know several people who have done very well with this help. And two who had bigger food issues who didn't do well.

What is more concerning to me is how we reached the point where so many of us are obese. Poor nutrition, poor quality food, the proliferation of fast food have all played a role in super sizing us.

JBALDWIN29 Posts: 5,136
9/7/13 4:37 P

I feel both.

9/7/13 4:36 P

I'd say it's somewhere in between. Sure, some of my choices contribute to my overall heath/disease, but I'm not always in control. Are we in tune with our bodies to know when something isn't "agreeing" with us internally? I'd say most of us would answer NO. I grew up in the time of the "food pyramid" (one-size-fits-all plan). Lots of grains, little fat...veggies were minor. I think the medical community, scientists & gov't have screwed us up...along with the media perpetuating these food myth cyclical see-saws. Salt, eggs, fat... well...people still think fat is bad. Yeah OK...let's lump ALL fats together & just say BAD...b/c the American people are dumb & can't figure it out. I really think the gov't/med people think we are dumb.

We have scientificated food (GMO) to the point where we're not sure what it's doing internally (although they won't admit it). We're spraying toxic chemicals on our food so that the bugs don't eat it before we do & call it "safe". Certain grains are uber cheap because of gov't subsidies so we rely on cheap (GMO) grains to fill our bellies. (Which, I discovered, spikes my blood sugar/insulin.) We are injecting our animals with antibiotics & hormones. HFCS, aspartame, Sucralose aren't even real foods, but in just about everything packaged now.

Food isn't food anymore. What we're eating today isn't what our grandparents ate...even if it APPEARS that way on the outside. I think food allergies (inflammation) are more common than people/Drs realize & cause obesity as well.

I'm not going to take full responsibility for my weight issues when scientists are tinkering with the food supply I cannot control. It eventually trickles down to the population & like a frog in the pot of cold water..... I cannot afford all organic food (I have kids who EAT) & I don't have farming skills nor the land to farm even if I did.

And there's my opinionated rant!!! :)

P.S. Has anyone noticed that they label Twizzlers as a "low fat food"? Seriously? So...what happens if I eat this "low fat" candy? The excess sugar will TURN INTO FAT!

144AUTUMN SparkPoints: (75,311)
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9/7/13 2:54 P


EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
9/7/13 2:39 P

Things I'm reading recently suggest that obesity is a SYMPTOM, neither disease nor lifestyle. It's a symptom of nutritional deficiency, against all common "wisdom," along with other modern diseases (diabetes, heart disease, metabolic dyscrasias...).

We've really had our nutritional "health" fouled up by so-called "experts." Those include the big and supposedly respectable professional groups who were/are *supposed* to be advising us in the proper direction. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, and still isn't.

I do my own research now. I question everything. Just because a large group promotes a thing doesn't mean it's well-founded in science. Lots of the old science and research was skewed, and many of our current thoughts are still based upon that refuted research. I choose not to turn my brain off and rely on data which has been shown to be not-so-advisable.

To each his/her own.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/7/13 2:37 P

I agree that we need to consider both sides
I have a problem with the idea that some people rely on medicine/surgery Solutions (because that's where money is to be made and it's easier to control the patients following those solutions) than a lifestyle change that requires the patient to make the choices and isn't as easy to monitor or control.

I think lifestyle is usually a contributing factor for any disease and
is also usually a key factor in the treatment.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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9/7/13 2:09 P

And of course there is the question of which came first, the obesity or the disease!

Many of our medical problems come from poor diet, lack of exercise and poor choices about smoking, drinking, drugs and sexual habits.

Then we read interesting articles about intestinal bacteria and how certain bacteria are found in thin people and others in fat people and how much does this affect a persons ability to be a healthy weight.

I'm in the group that believes that it is a combination problem with truth on both sides. There is a group on one end of the spectrum that is fat from true medical conditions. There is a group on the other end that are fat from bad choices and over indulgence etc. and the rest of us are spread along the continuum with various degrees of physical, social and emotional problems.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/7/13 1:58 P

With perhaps a few exceptions, in my opinion, obesity is a lifestyle problem. As with alcoholism, for example, there may be genetic propensity to engage in a certain lifestyle, but the fact remains that people can use will-power and determination to quit drinking alcoholic beverages or to eat healthy and exercise intelligently.

I personally believe that accountability is often put on the back burner when people argue that certain negative lifestyle choices are out of their control for whatever reasons.

People can quit smoking or even quit heroin use, for examples, by holding themselves accountable.

Most obese people, unless they have rare medical conditions, can, in my opinion, change their lifestyle through will power and sacrifice. No one said it would be easy.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
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9/7/13 1:15 P

Isn't lifestyle and disease about the same thing?

dis·ease (d-zz)
1. A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.
2. A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.
3. Obsolete Lack of ease; trouble.

Source: FreeDictionary

ZIGGY122 Posts: 2,198
9/7/13 12:50 P

Does it matter what causes it? ...shouldn't we just focus on spreading the spark to combat it. Makes all the sense to me emoticon

LOSE4LIFE47 Posts: 69,265
9/7/13 12:47 P

It can be from both. I have hypothyroidism & it affects my weight & if & eat wrong & don't exercise it is from that also.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
9/7/13 12:46 P

A lot of diseases are caused by lifestyle choices. Here are just a few diseases caused by lifestyle choices (leaving out obesity/diseases linked to obesity): alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, lung cancer (and other cancers) from smoking, emphysema from smoking, most sexually transmitted diseases, skin cancer from being out in the sun too much, a lot of periodontal disease (make a choice not to floss lately?), atherosclerosis from smoking or poor dietary choices, a lot heart attacks/heart disease (smoking, lack of exercise), stroke (depending on the cause), diseases caused by a choice to not receive vaccinations or vaccinate children, etc. I could go on and on. But many, many diseases are caused by choices that people make.

Obesity does have its own symptoms. For starters, I think we can all agree that it limits mobility and proper functioning of the body. That's one of the definitions of a disease.

I think that a lot of people who talk about obesity not being a disease and being a choice are basically just discriminating against overweight people. It's amazing to me how these people speak out against the obese, saying it's a choice, but you'll never hear them telling someone with a cirrhotic liver, lung cancer from smoking, a sexually transmitted disease or a case of the flu (yes, everyone who refuses to get vaccinated against this disease has made a choice), that it isn't a disease, it's a choice. You just don't hear that sort of thing. It's still okay to discriminate against overweight people and, in my opinion, this is what's behind saying "it's a choice, not a disease."

When we make a giant list of all the diseases that people could avoid if they made the recommended choice, it's a pretty big list.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 9/7/2013 (13:10)
SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/7/13 12:34 P

I agree that there are a lot of issues that contribute to obesity...
which is why many need counseling, nutritional guidance, medical testing (for bp, blood sugar, cholesterol etc), fitness counseling etc.
Some people feel that obesity is determined by genetics and/or illness.

But in my choices plays the biggest role.
I've lost and gain on several occasions...and gaining (for me) wasn't the result of illness (although back and knee surgery did impact my activity level)..
The biggest factor was going back to unhealthy food choices and a more sedentary lifestyle.

Getting back to a healthy lifestyle has reversed most of my medical issues
and is helping fight obesity

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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9/7/13 11:54 A

Just because it is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices ... doesn't mean it is not a disease. It's not an "either-or" situation.

A lifetime of unhealthy decisions can cause a disease. Diseases are not limited to those caused by germs or viruses. That's the whole point of the AMA's decision to recognize obesity as a disease ... and drug addiction, psychological disorders, etc. They are acknowledging that not all diseases are not caused by germs and viruses. (e.g. Heart disease, diabetes, etc. are other examples.)

The real question behind the AMA action is the societal question of whether or not we will pay money to help those whose diseases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices. Should people who have made healthy choices all their lives have to pay higher health insurance premiums to cover the costs of obsity treatments for those who have voluntarily made unhealthy choices?

That's what the hub bub is really about.

FAITHP44 Posts: 8,482
9/7/13 11:26 A

Lifestyle plays the biggest part for me - and possibly upbringing (though that was a long time ago.) However, my sister, who had the same upbringing as me, has had a much more serious battle with weight all her life than I have, and there seems to be no logical reason why. I think there has to be something other than lifestyle choices causing her weight problems as she walks a lot and doesn't appear to eat a huge amount. It's a mystery!

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
9/7/13 10:53 A

Some people feel that Obesity is a disease
others feel it is the result of lifestyle choices.

A.M.A. Recognizes Obesity as a Disease
Published by the New York Times: June 18, 2013
"The council summarized the arguments for and against calling obesity a disease.
One reason in favor, it said, was that it would reduce the stigma of obesity that stems from the widespread perception that it is simply the result of eating too much or exercising too little. Some doctors say that people do not have full control over their weight.
Supporters of the disease classification also say it fits some medical criteria of a disease, such as impairing body function.

Those arguing against it say that there are no specific symptoms associated with it and that it is more a risk factor for other conditions than a disease in its own right.
They also say that “medicalizing” obesity by declaring it a disease would define one-third of Americans as being ill and could lead to more reliance on costly drugs and surgery rather than lifestyle changes. Some people might be overtreated because their B.M.I. was above a line designating them as having a disease, even though they were healthy. "

Which Plays The Biggest Role In YOUR Weight emoticon

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 9/7/2013 (11:44)
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