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Is Obesity Caused by Lifestyle or Disease?



 
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JOSEPINAD
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10/18/13 5:32 P

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EXOTEC
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10/16/13 10:32 A

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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."

=======================

I'm not sure you can reduce a "stigma" by giving a condition a name. From what I've seen, people inclined to generalize this way will simply demean the condition and continue to stigmatize.

Obesity is a symptom of disease, if you want to call it a disease... that being nutritional deficiency. Malnutrition, of a sort. I'm not sure I'd classify it as a disease in and of itself.

On the "for" side of the debate, I think a classification of this sort might reduce the dogma about calorie restriction and exercise being the be-all and end-all for weight control or loss. That's been adequately proven to be frail technique, at best. As a *lifestyle*, perhaps it is beneficial. For weight loss once obesity is established, not so much.

The way our medical system is arranged now, insurance companies require appropriate "codes" in order to pay for treatments. If the doctor can't supply that code, insurance coverage will likely be denied. If there were codes for obesity (and I don't mean someone who simply wants to lose 20 pounds for the summer bikini season), perhaps more people would be encouraged or able to get some nutritional counseling and aid for weight loss programs. Some health care plans already discount for programs such as smoking cessation and weight loss. I think that might be expanded and improved if we had codes to apply that would support our efforts.

=======================
"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."

======================

I can certainly see the definition of obesity as a disease applying to a much greater percentage of the population than is *officially* recognized now. Naturally, our healthcare providers see it and recognize it. But they're not so likely to list it as a "condition" requiring treatment under the current standards. Perhaps they'd be more inclined to do so with a new official designation.

I hope that, rather than more drugs and surgery as is mentioned in the above quote, it might entail more nutritional counseling - probably a good thing for nutritionists and dietitians. Certainly a good thing for those of us so affected, since nutritional counseling and monitoring can be a very pricey prospect. How many people might be more willing to pursue professional help in losing weight if they could get a financial break to do so?

-----------------------------------------------

In my case, I believe that lifestyle got me where I am today. But that lifestyle was based upon official recommendations which were blatantly, evidently, obviously incorrect! If the insurance companies, "frugal" as they are, were involved and somewhat responsible for shelling out for obesity-related ailments, perhaps they'd have raised their extensive and powerful lobbying "voice" to prevent those guidelines from being adopted, and leading us here.

Food isn't about health. It's big politics, for insurance, agriculture, and pharmaceutical interests. It's a shame it's that way, but facts are facts. If we're going to get ahead, and take it back to health, we're going to just have to manage our diet responsibly ourselves. Unfortunately, that entails more skepticism and courage than many people have the fortitude to pursue.

Good research and information is out there, and (if you go back to the foundational research which got us here in the first place) examination of those basics - BEYOND the official "line" of most professional groups - is possible. But it's scary for some, and too much bother for some, and isn't likely to happen for many. Alas.

It's not "a conspiracy!" Nobody did this intentionally, and there's no "agenda" some mysterious "other" is trying to foist upon us. It's sadly just simple ignorance, bias, and committee mentality. But we don't have to toe that line. We have the resources to make intelligent decisions. Well... most of us do. I hope. I do, anyway.

Lifestyle has been my downfall, plus a propensity towards obesity - is that "disease"? I don't know. I do know I can fix it with lifestyle, if I can just stick to it. A lifetime of bad habits can be tough to break!


Edited by: EXOTEC at: 10/16/2013 (10:37)
...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

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AMARANTHAQ
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10/16/13 10:05 A

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mostly lifestyl

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CPRCINDYC
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10/16/13 9:52 A

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In my case, obesity is a lifestyle. I have been sedentery and not active, but I have no health issues aside from being overweight. It isn't healthy, but I'm working on it. In college I didn't have a car so I had to walk everywhere and it kept me healthy, now.. meh.



PLINTHESS
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10/16/13 7:53 A

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TREV1964 is quite right - I was born at the end of WW2 and grew up with rationing. There were no fat children in my class or in my school. You simply never saw an obese adult. Few people had cars, we walked much of the time, and/or took buses and trains.

In the past, people have pitied me for never having learned to drive as if I was in some way inferior. But I love walking, and am just back from hospital where the mystery of my very low heart rate was explained to me today. My heart rate (about 38-48) is that of an athlete in her twenties! They expected a woman of nearly 70 to have a much higher heart rate. Anybody still feeling sorry for me?

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

You can take the girl out of London, but - thank goodness - you can't take London out of the girl.


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TREV1964
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10/15/13 6:22 P

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I remain convinced that obesity is directly related to lifestyle in 99% of cases.

This is not a problem that existed 70 years ago and not a problem that exists in countries where less processed food is consumed.

It was not a problem in the UK before the 70s and it seems to have emerged here with the growth of fast food establishments coupled with a more sedentary way of living with the world at our fingertips be it a computer keyboard or a remote control for the T.V.

Food portions have in many cases doubled and tippled since then and the majority of the jobs carried out are far less labour intensive than they were before.

People eat on the go and do not take their time to eat. Fast music played in Mc Donalds, Burger king, Wimpy and other establishments encourage people to eat faster and scoff their food without the knowledge of knowing the ingredients they are consuming.

Here in the UK all we have to do is cross the channel to France where obesity is not a problem. Processed food is hardly available either. They take their time when eating, they know the ingredients they consume and are a more active race of people.

It all points to lifestyle.

Plain and simple.

Cheers

Trev

I will do today what others won't
So I can have tomorrow what others can't.

You will ultimately become the people you associate with and eventually become the books that you read.

Never in human history has a statue ever been erected in homage to a critic.
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NOBLEEQUESTRIAN
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10/15/13 5:52 P

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I'm tired of people making excuses for America's Obesity. While I do believe that a small portion is caused by medical issues, the majority is caused by lifestyle.

We need a reality check, no matter how harsh it is. I know it's hard to lose weight but people need to wake up and start living healthier. Obesity is deadly. You can and probably will die an early death if you continue to maintain an obese weight. And by teaching your children your lifestyle you are also ensuring that they have an early death too. An obese teenager is said to have the heart of a middle-aged man....

Wake up America. I'm not trying to be harsh but we seriously need to take control of our own lifestyle and not make excuses for it.



CLAIREG123
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10/8/13 2:16 P

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A small portion id say would be from medical causes but for the majority id say lifestyle. For me ive always struggled with my weight and always classed as overweight. IN2005 due to illness I was prescribed steroids which of course swicthes off your hunger signals as it takes over roll of the thyroid gland. Anyway gradually from there I put more weight on when again I was struck down with Lupus in 2009 and again more steroids. Finally tipping the scales at my heaviest weight ever and thanks to those lovely BMI charts now classes as morbidly obese bordeline! I think the problem is getting a lot worse though and more needs to be done to help children at an early age including eduating the children and parents about healthy eating.

Edited by: CLAIREG123 at: 10/8/2013 (14:19)

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GODDREAMDIVA1
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10/8/13 11:52 A

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Both...

U NO ME TWO
1 Corinthians 13…The Greatest Gift
…and now abide FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.


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CMB113
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10/8/13 11:41 A

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I think it's genetics and lifestyle. I do not believe it's a "disease". It IS harder for some people to lose weight than others. But alot of it is learned behaviour and an inactive life.



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VANESSAZONE
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10/8/13 10:25 A

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I think it is primarily a lifestyle issue, although eating disorders are true pyschological diseases. Obesity is not rampant in impoverished nations, cancer wards or concentration camps (my Mom was unfortunately sent to a gulag in Siberia as a child). Certain hormonal and metabolic derangements can be an etiology, but it still basically comes down to net caloric intake. I'm both a doctor and thyroid cancer pt and put on 20 lbs. With strict but patient dieting I've finally shed 12 - and aiming for 10-15 more for some wiggle room! Happy Sparking everyone!

welcome to my Vanessa Zone- Let's kick some ass and get it done! My goal is to get from 132 down to 115 asap (update- goal achieved- now going for 110!) What finally worked for me is a very strict cal restricted diet-it doesn't matter what kind of cals I eat as long as the total is very low! xoxo


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PROSPEROV
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10/8/13 10:10 A

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I personally think obesity is a disease which is caused by lifestyle factors.



OUTDOORGAL1
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10/8/13 8:57 A

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both



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SHAKESALOT
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10/8/13 8:39 A

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Not a quitter!


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BAPSANN
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10/7/13 12:45 P

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I agree to both, lifestyle and genetics.

All things are possible if you only believe, even losing 15 pounds


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AMARANTHAQ
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10/6/13 6:18 A

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Lifestyle, mostly, IMO.

I think genetics has something to do with, too.

Resolved in 2014 to remain below 120!


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SUNSET09
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10/6/13 2:16 A

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Lifestyle; so we all need to be checking ourselves and how we can improve our life and health. Be the example you want to see in others so that they can see it in you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon



 
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MOINSDEMOI
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10/5/13 1:09 P

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Lifestyle.

Two eye-opening books to read are "The Wheat Belly Diet" and "Grain Brain". Both are written by medical doctors, the first a cardiologist and the second a neurologist with a degree in nutrition.

They have changed the way I eat.

"She believed she could so she did."


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KIPPER15
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10/5/13 7:05 A

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PRETTYSARO
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10/4/13 10:40 P

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Lifestyle. Processed food and all the pills the medical community advertises on tv night and day. Ugh.



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KLDJSURVEY
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10/4/13 9:27 P

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lifestyle mainly, and it can be the cause of disease



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LXKIRK9523
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10/4/13 9:22 P

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Lifestyle. Sure, there is an issue with manage weight with some people. But losing weight is not an overnight thing. It takes time and patience.

LeeAnna K.


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SUNFLOWERGAMMY
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10/3/13 3:36 P

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CATHWREN
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I see where you are coming from and, yes, I agree that high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, joint swellling are signs & knee pain, difficulty breathing, tiredness are symptoms of disease. But the lifestyle choices that cause the disease is not a disease in itself, IMO.

That said, I think that if the lifestyle choices of smoking or drugging are being treated as diseases, then obesity should be too. Even if they aren't diseases in and of themselves, they have costs down the road and it would save both money and health, to treat them before they develop diseases.

)O( )O( )O( )O(
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OVHENDERSON
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10/2/13 9:25 P

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I am a personal trainer, and I think that obesity is a disease. Bet ya didn't see that coming from someone like me : )

A disease is defined as a disorder of structure or function in a living thing that produces signs or symptoms. To much science?

Here's the deal, high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, joint swellling... are signs & knee pain, difficulty breathing, tiredness are symptoms.

Question: If Jane Doe smoked and developed lung cancer, is her lung cancer not a disease? Yes, it's lifestyle related, but still a disease nonetheless. Even though obesity is mainly lifestyle related, that doesn't take away from the fact that it is still a disease.

...that's just my 2cents

Edited by: OVHENDERSON at: 10/2/2013 (21:27)
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ARLENEGOBERT
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10/2/13 6:29 P

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I think obesity is caused by lifestyle. Obesity is not a disease. I believe that people have to eat healty and eat the right kinds of foods to lose weight. When you eat the wrong types of food and that is junk food you will automatically gain weight and be unhealthy.

It's a Brand New kinda me. It's a Brand New kind of free.
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.


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BEBARB149
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Ever notice that one person can go on a diet/exercise plan and lose weight hand-over-fist, while another person on the same plan doesn't. I think that obesity is caused by lifestyle for some people but for others it's a symptom. Unfortunately doctors aren't always open minded and often blame patient's lifestyle for their obesity without investigating why they are obese. If obesity is labeled a disease, doctors may be more likely to check into the reasons people gain weight, and they may make some progress toward eliminating it. Telling people they will live longer, happier lives if they lose weight doesn't seem to be getting them anywhere. Celiac disease is a good example of this. It's been clumped in with irritable bowel syndrome for a long time because they share symptoms, but now we know that the person with celiac disease can get relief of symptoms by avoiding gluten, so doctors test for it.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful thorns have roses. -- Alphonse Karr


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SHERYLDS
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You are absolutely right.
You can't go cold turkey and just say no to eating. You have to learn to eat correctly.
But we can give up a lot of the junk some of us hold near and dear to our hearts...
the stuff that's loaded with BAD stuff and no nutritional benefits.
And so many people who have changed their lifestyle...look back at some of that garbage, and wonder how they ever ate that junk to begin with.

It's a matter of re-educating the mindset and the tastebuds

USA EST


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CATHWREN
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Primarily, I would say lifestyle but there are diseases that cause obesity as well as drugs that cause weight gain. Obesity is also often a side effect of depression which is not a lifestyle choice but a disease, for all that it isn't caused by a germ.

That said, I don't believe other addictions that are treated as diseases are really diseases either, such as smoking or drugging/drinking. Yet these "conditions" are treated as diseases and people can get the help they need to overcome them. As difficult as it is to overcome these conditions, obesity is harder. You can't go cold turkey and just say no to eating. You have to learn to eat correctly. You are faced with temptation every time you open the frig.

Although I primarily think of obesity as a lifestyle condition, I think it needs to be treated as a disease just as other addictions are.

)O( )O( )O( )O(
CathWren


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SHELL1400_85
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10/2/13 12:27 P

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I think it is mostly lifestyle. There are SOME people who truly might not be able to help it, but the majority of people who are over weight are so because of poor choices.


The book of your life has many chapters, don't forget that when one ends another one begins.


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ACACIA21
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lifestyle mainly, and it can be the cause of disease or good health

Michelle
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DBEVIL
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Although genetics and environment can play some factor, lifestyle is by far the biggest determination of weight and health.

I got out of bed this morning......it's all downhill from there.


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TCANNO
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I don't know but both



Join the 10 minute challenge and get exercising.

Put mind into gear and you can do anything.

Don't forget to make your workout fun so as not to get bored with it.

See trevcannon.blogspot.co.uk/


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OFFICECHIK
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10/2/13 9:15 A

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lifestyle



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INTOTHESOUTH
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I'm with SHERYLDS on this one. There is a history diabetes and weight issues in my family and for the longest time I used it as a crutch. Don't get me wrong, I do think heredity can make your struggles harder, but a fundamental lifestyle change has diverted my family health issues off my life path.



----Harper---

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SHERYLDS
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10/1/13 3:28 P

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I believe that lifestyle contributes to obesity and disease
and lifestyle also helps turn things around.
I know I have assumptions that don't work for everyone...we are all different
but I am a proactive type.
So I need to hear the other side occasionally to balance my perceptions.

here is a 16 minute video from youtube
Peter Attia: WHAT IF WE ARE WRONG ABOUT DIABETES
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMhLBPPtlrY

we should always look to adopting a healthy lifestyle but there are lots of ways to perceive the problem

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 10/1/2013 (19:45)
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NBARNES
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10/1/13 3:11 P

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Although I think some people are more predisposed to food addiction - I think obesity is definitely a lifestyle choice. I see very few obese people who have any decent level of activity at all. And honestly, we all KNOW what's bad for us and so many still choose to live the life of the victim. I was fat because I had no self control.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

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FIRECRACKER61
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It is caused by a lifestyle that leads to diseases for most people. Even with medical conditions there are things you can do to help yourself. When you get down to the bottom of it, its a matter of choice. There are circumstances that are out of our control but what about the ones where we make the choice.
For what ever the reasons were, for whatever medical conditions I have inherited, I have to own up to the fact that I made myself this way.
And now with the help of SparkPeople, I can change. emoticon



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CHARLOTTEPI
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hmmm. Good question.
I believe it is mostly lifestyle. I have an adult daughter who has food addictions. Her father suffered similar issues but did not have fast food chains available every where so that he could satisfy cravings. As well, when he got home there was only natural foods in the fridge and pantry. Although he watches his weight, he does not have the same issues.

But no matter how carefully I shop and cook, my daughter has the ability to buy her own foods and sadly, they are not healthy choices. I should add that she did not become obese until after 18 when she was "responsible" for herself.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.


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SWAN47
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10/1/13 1:53 A

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ROXYCARIN
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10/1/13 12:46 A

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GENRE009
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10/1/13 12:45 A

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What do you think?

If you have a lifestyle were you are always eating out at restaurants or fast food places, here's what you are getting or not getting. The food is cooked with hidden fats, and salts. The fats aren't the good ones, but the hydrogenated heart clogging animal fats. The fat may be used over, and over in one course of a day. The heavy salt helps to clog your arteries, and set you up for a heart attack or a stroke. Your vegetables probably came in a bag, that keeps in moisture, so bacteria forms on the vegetables also. They are not steamed, or possibly fresh you you've lost the nutrient value from them.Then you order something to drink. Is it caffeine? Or does it have sugar, that you or someone put into it? Or does that pie, ice cream, or chocolate something or other put you over the edge for lowering your immune system. Getting sick regularly becomes common with you now. Now you've helped to damage your pancreas, and head into diabetic health condition. And that also leads to the big one. So tell me is this the idea of what come first? Cause there are situations where you can be born with a predisposition toward certain illnesses, or diseases, thank you parents! Like being from alcoholic parents. Or your parents didn't know how to eat healthy, so that's why you are obese! What do you think now? Just remember almost all diseases at some point can be reversed by good habits of eating!



DADOFSPARKGAL
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10/1/13 12:12 A

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For the vast majority of people obesity is caused by their lifestyle.... in my humble opinion



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TREV1964
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9/30/13 7:52 P

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I personally believe that Obesity is directly linked to lifestyle. Here on the UK we are having many problems that have already been seen in the states.

In France however they seem to not have the problem with the vast majority of people at normal weight. Obesity is very rare out there indeed as is processed food. I personally feel the diet here and in the states is based on processed food and this is the major contributing factor to obesity in both our countries.

Get rid of processed food - get rid of obesity.

Cheers

Trev

I will do today what others won't
So I can have tomorrow what others can't.

You will ultimately become the people you associate with and eventually become the books that you read.

Never in human history has a statue ever been erected in homage to a critic.
Jean Sibelius (composer 1865-1957)


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AMPAVUK
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9/30/13 6:29 P

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For me it's both. My childhood involved a lot of food+a lot of sedentary activity. This led to me being overweight starting when I was young, and continuing on and off ever since. I've lost and gained weight periodically over the years. It's really been a journey to discover what, in my lifestyle, is inhibiting me to loose weight. A lot of it revolves around unhealthy attitudes about food, including eating because I'm bored, eating junk food as a reward for stress, and eating food just because it is there, and it shouldn't be wasted, even if I am full.

Disease-wise, I have poly-cystic overies, which has also contributed to my high weight.

“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment; I told them they didn't understand life.” -John Lennon


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WRITEFROMHOME
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9/30/13 4:27 P

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Obesity stems from hereditary factors - learned and genetic, as well as lifestyle choices - which is the predominant factor. But just as a recovering alcoholic learns to control and avoid what is dangerous to them, so a thinking, choosing human being can control their behaviors and recover from obesity.



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SHERYLDS
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9/30/13 1:05 P

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interesting that someone would think 'out of control' is offensive when so many of us use that expression to describe how we feel when you go off track. I sometimes feel out of control with my carbs.
Same with lazy...because when I know I haven't been doing as much exercise as I should, I feel that I'm making excuses and being lazy. Most people I know have to force themselves to do exercise ... even the slim people

Is it a matter of who says it to you ...that makes it offensive.?

The same with weakness....
when someone is an emotional eater...is that a weakness? Is that an offensive remark?
To me it just indicates something we need to work on...and yet some people become outraged when someone says it's a weakness.

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 9/30/2013 (13:21)
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APHRODIDTE
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9/30/13 12:44 P

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All the numbers are subjective, and some times are not backed by great science, and many studies are not regulated over a long, long period of time. I grew up in Canada, for one thing-are they comparing an equal number of Canadians to Americans, or is this a generalized view? Canada is a large country without a dense population. In smaller, rural areas you will find a large percentage of people who would be determined to be over weight or obese.
Also, the Native people suffer from a larger proponent of weight issues, and diabetes.
We are very familiar with the Japanese culture, and have hosted Japanese people in our home for years. After extensive research, they do not eat a diet of mainly brown rice, but rather a short grain white rice. With the younger generation, rice is no longer a staple at every meal. They eat non meat sources such as tofu, and fermented bean paste, miso, and fish is readily available. The one greatest observation is that they do not eat a lot. They eat a variety of foods, but are careful with their weight. Being over weight offers a greater social stigma, that can impact job choices. Their beauty ideal is very thin, tiny, with western features. Plastic surgery is very common among young people with eye lid, and nose surgery at the foreground, along with skin lightening. This practice is even more prevalent in Korea, where plastic surgery is so common that it is a norm.
Obesity has many reasons, and many faces. It is also the last prejudice in this society that isn't acceptable. Being deemed lazy, out of control, and any other adjective is offensive and perpetuates the prejudice that if you are over weight, or obese that some how you are less of a person.
So, we are here on Spark to change some things that haven't been working, to learn, grow, and become the best, healthiest we can be.
Even if I am lumped into a category, if I am derided for my weight, I know that no study, no label will make me less of a person. I am unique, and so are you. My weight is a combination of lifestyle, heredity, disease which has caused inactivity, and it is a mindset. But it doesn't define who I am.



LOLAFAIRY
LOLAFAIRY's Photo Posts: 52
9/30/13 10:40 A

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I believe it all has to do with your lifestyle, although diseases can contribute to obesity. Just my opinion of course :)



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13DETERMINEDME
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9/30/13 6:47 A

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Both ...how you live life, who you allow in your life, how you process life's challenges




KIPPER15
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9/29/13 3:26 P

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I say both. Lack of exercise, overeating and eating the wrong things add to the lifestyle gains. Hormones, thyroid conditions and physical ailments can contribute to the disease portion.



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PFARRAR65
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9/29/13 2:36 P

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can be caused by either or both.



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ATHENA1966
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9/29/13 2:29 P

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95% Lifestyle, 5% Disease. I made those numbers up, but that's my guess (opinion).

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. ~Mother Teresa


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PATTISWIMMER
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9/29/13 1:22 P

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fructose made from corn syrup and gmo foods... stuff put into candy and chips in flavouring that makes you want to eat more... juices that are really just sugar.... and mostly all sugar in gmo... I think the processed food industry contributes to obesity... not a disease a food poison



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EGRAMMY
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9/28/13 10:37 P

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a self limiting question.....I'd inc lude heredity et al in the list.

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I have no medical knowledge and not a trained counselor. Please seek professional advice about treatment options.


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144AUTUMN
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9/28/13 4:15 P

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both



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SHERYLDS
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9/28/13 4:03 P

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actually in a lot of the US states where obesity is high...southern style cooking is popular.

Southern cooking linked to stroke rate
www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/02/22/Souther
n-cooking-linked-to-stroke-rate/UPI-95
511361571316/


Mexico takes title of most obese
www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57592714/mexi
co-takes-title-of-most-obese-from-amer
ica/


both have a lot of fried foods, starches, sugar, and additives.

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MISSRUTH
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9/28/13 3:45 P

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I've seen some articles speculating that it (difference between obesity rates in US vs Canada) may have to do with the make-up of the population; obesity rates among blacks and hispanics in the US are higher. Could be that the US is more diverse than Canada. The rates for women are also higher than for men-- I wonder if the US has proportionately more women to men, than Canada.... Also I've seen speculation about level of education etc. I don't think they've come up with a definitive answer.

Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone


Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh


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SHERYLDS
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9/28/13 2:47 P

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When you look at the differences in the nations obesity ratings...you can't help but consider the impact the cultures and their food choices have on their health. And the way food is raised and grown in different cultures. Besides what constitutes a serving size. And the normal activity levels of people in those countries...where walking long distances, biking, and manual labor are normal.

but I'm still curious about US vs Canada.
I always considered the two countries so similar...so why the huge difference in 30% US versus under 14% Canada...????

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ALBERTJON
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9/28/13 2:04 P

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I was doing some Googling to find lists of "the most obese nations." Actually, if one includes island nations, then 8 of the top 10 obese nations are island nations. The United States is still in the top 10, however. Otherwise, most recent top 10 obese nation lists (seemingly ignoring the island nations) have Mexico first and the United States second. Apparently, the island nations went away from eating healthy diets and went to following "Western" diets, primarily of a "fast food" nature.

I found it interesting that The AMA Council on Science and Public Health, which advised against considering obesity a disease, noted "that it is more of a risk factor for other conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure than a disease in itself. In other words, it has the same relationship to disease as heavy drinking does to alcoholism: it’s a risk factor, not a disorder. The committee also noted that there are no standard criteria for drawing a line between healthy and unhealthy weights." -- healthland.time.com/2013/06/19/viewpoint-w
hy-defining-obesity-as-a-disease-may-d
o-more-harm-than-good/


Obesity is, then, according to the AMA Council, a risk factor and not a disease. People in high places simply decided to label "obesity" a disease, hoping that would help curb a lifestyle followed by a significant minority of people in the United States.


============================
www.globalpost.com/photo-galleries/5682400
/top-10-most-obese-countries-the-world
-photos


gawker.com/america-is-no-longer-the-most-o
bese-country-in-the-worl-714151306


www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?ar
ticleId=USRTXT3DK#a=4


www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/worlds-most-obe
se-countries


Edited by: ALBERTJON at: 9/28/2013 (14:05)
"If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred...Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body? or the fool that corrupted her own live body? " -- Whitman

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” -- Emerson

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- Thoreau


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SHERYLDS
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9/28/13 1:46 P

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interesting article JAPAN HAS MANY PROBLEMS BUT OBESITY ISN'T ONE OF THEM

an excerpt:
"In 2008, the Global Post reported, the Tokyo government established a maximum waistline size for people above the age of 40: 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women. Under Japan’s health care coverage rules, employees who fail to meet waistline guidelines are forced to undergo counseling."
...
"Part of the reason for Japan’s svelte figures is explained by their adherence to a traditional diet of brown rice, fish, broth-based soups, fruit and vegetables and a minimal consumption of red meat."

READ MORE
www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-ob
esity-isnt-one-them-1038090


I'm curious as to why the US has a 30% obesity rate and Canada is under 14%

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CHARLOTTE1947
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9/28/13 1:26 P

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Go to Japan. No one there is suffering from the "disease" of obesity. They eat fish, vegetables, rice and green tea. We should follow their lead for the "cure" to our "disease".

Their children walk and ride bikes to school. I never saw a school bus. We need to do more of that too.



"The only way to hurt your body is to not use it." Jack LaLanne


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SHERYLDS
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9/27/13 1:03 P

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Here is a great case where lifestyle can create diseases leading to even more obesity related problems.

FROM Women To Women website....on article on INSULIN RESISTANCE
www.womentowomen.com/insulinresistance/wha
tisinsulinresistance.aspx


"The unfortunate truth is that anyone can become insulin resistant — even if she is thin because we have access to a lot of refined carbohydrates (white bread, sugar, bagels, pasta, potatoes, sodas, processed foods with added fructose, etc.). In fact, most of us are likely to be somewhat resistant to insulin. It is just a matter of degree. The more processed and refined food that we eat, the more insulin we require to metabolize it. The more insulin in our blood, the less responsive our cells become. As we age, this continual exposure wears out our tolerance for refined carbohydrates and reduces our sensitivity to insulin.

If you suffer from high cholesterol, high triglycerides, or hypertension, you should get checked for insulin resistance, regardless of your weight or age. If you have high blood pressure, it is likely that you are also suffering from insulin resistance"

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ANNIE1114
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9/26/13 9:33 P

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lifestyle



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GRACEISENUF
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9/26/13 9:00 P

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This question made me laugh....seriously???

I am not discounting that some medicines that are used to treat disease may have detrimental side effects such as weight gain but other than situations that are not under a person's control, overeating is the MAIN cause of obesity. What we put in our mouth is what causes weight loss or gain and exercise also plays a key role as well.

Edited by: GRACEISENUF at: 9/26/2013 (21:05)
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt
1884-1962

"Girls compete with one another, WOMEN empower one another".


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KMS567
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9/26/13 4:27 P

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Actually, in the long run it can be just as expensive or even more expensive as being a medication; mainly because if you stop the gym and/or eating the "right" foods then the weight comes back.

Do not get me wrong. I am for living a healthy life style. I am more a believer in living a balance life style then one that is obsess with food and exercise. And most people can find a healthy lifestyle through a balance life. To gain that balance you first need to find your triggers for eating unhealthy; understand how your body reacts to different types of food and the vitamins and minerals in them; and what your body needs to maintain healthy habits.



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SHAKESALOT
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9/26/13 2:20 P

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emoticon

Not a quitter!


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JENALLE1
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This is like asking, "Which game first, the chicken or the egg?" The disease of obesity is intertwined with lifestyle. Obese people find it more difficult to be active. Food addictions add to obesity. Genes give us a body type. Cultures have different eating and recreational norms. We must all make our own decisions on where we want to go, not why we are here or where we came from. emoticon

Jenny

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NACHTSKAI
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9/26/13 6:28 A

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THROOPER62
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9/26/13 6:23 A

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TENNISJIM
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9/26/13 6:18 A

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I think it's both



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KIPPER15
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9/26/13 4:42 A

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I believe it can be both. You can control it by the choices you make.



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FIATVOLUNTASTUA
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9/26/13 3:53 A

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Many diseases may be the result of choices you make in life. Hence obesity, even if it is a metabolic disease, is most likely the result of the wrong or poor choices made in life.



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TCANNO
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9/26/13 3:34 A

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I would say both as some people won't loose weight and other can't (health reasons)



Join the 10 minute challenge and get exercising.

Put mind into gear and you can do anything.

Don't forget to make your workout fun so as not to get bored with it.

See trevcannon.blogspot.co.uk/


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ANGYAS
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“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.


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LOSER_ZIMM
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9/25/13 11:21 P

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It's never too late to be who you might have been!

--George Eliot


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LOFLLAMA
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LIFESTYLE!!!

Lisa

Your perception of your reality IS your reality.

You have the right to your own opinion. You do not, however, have the right to your own facts.

Be The Change You Want To See In The World~ Gandhi

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PLINTHESS
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Lifestyle - there were few obese people in Europe during WW2 when food was scarce/rationed, and if there was no petrol or public transport - you walked. There was no junk food, either.

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

You can take the girl out of London, but - thank goodness - you can't take London out of the girl.


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UMBILICAL
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9/24/13 5:55 P

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Either or both.



POKEY_
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Many diseases can be controlled, obesity may be one of them.



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CARTOON3
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9/24/13 4:29 P

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neither, I think alot of things have to do with obesity,how you were raised did you eat out alot, genetics, do you exercise.




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KPEDEN74
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KMS567 - Eating healthy is not expensive and neither is joining a gym if you consider how it benefits your health. You have to make the choice and invest in the correct food and time at the gym. Think of how much prescription medicine costs for those that have health condidtions associated with being overweight. In the long run it is a better investment in your health to eat the correct foods and move your body.



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KMS567
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9/24/13 3:45 P

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Obesity is neither a lifestyle or a disease and yet it can be both. I have been struggling with my weight my entire life. It depends on the person, but everyone I know would tell you that they do not choose to be fat. They make other choices that contribute to their weight issues.

Financially, it is cheaper to eat unhealthy food and live an unhealthy lifestyle. Go to any store and you will find that the price for fresh fruits and vegetables are higher than any canned and any unhealthy snack. And only due to a drought has the price of turkey gone down and the price of beef gone up. If you go to any fast food restaurant or that matter any restaurant it is cheaper to eat the unhealthy food on the menu over the healthy food. It cost more for one person to join a gym than it does for a couple to go to the movies once a week for a year.

As a society we have become eat and run. The average person spends less than 30 minutes if we leave the office and less than 10 minutes if they stay in the office on a lunch break.

Moreover, what I mentioned here is just a sampling. There are so many contributing factors to why obesity has risen in this country it is not funny nor a time to judge people on why they are overweight.






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BRIANLIEBERTH
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I believe the move to recognize it as a disease is an attempt to induce more insurance recognition of obesity treatments and also encourage more funding for research. That being said I think the real effect is to have too many people hope for a magic cure in a bottle. WE are so used to the paradigm of get sick, take a pill.

Compulsions and addictions which I believe this fits into cannot be cured that way. The way out is certainly not the same for every person, but I am very convinced drugs won't do it. Each person has to determine not only what makes them continue in obesity, and also what holds them back from change. Example, is it a sugar addiction? if so what stops you from giving it up for good?. This is true for some but not everyone I am sure. If it is emotional eating and leads you to comfort foods, what holds you back from finding another outlet for stress? Each person will have a different answer to that. Then and only then will they turn around the behaviors of obesity.

I personally found that I cannot eat sugar without eventually binging. After decades of trying to eat everything in moderation I gave up and quit eating sugar. It has seemed like a miracle since then. Cravings left and the time I spent binging before I now spend exercising


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PITTER6
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9/24/13 2:42 P

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emoticon If obesity is a disease, I have tried every pill invented by man and nothing has cured it

Lord, bless my diet buddies and help me met my 2014 weight goals of 60 pounds.
Co-Leader "Keep it Simple"


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ALBERTJON
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9/24/13 1:46 P

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Ok, I'm convinced. Obesity is a disease. And so are lung cancer, emphysema, gambling addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction, and sundry other things.

Thus, that makes it much easier to ignore accountability, cause and effect, and freedom-of-will.

Once we don't have to take responsibility for our actions, it is easier to excuse them.

"If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred...Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body? or the fool that corrupted her own live body? " -- Whitman

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” -- Emerson

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- Thoreau


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JOY73YL
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9/24/13 10:42 A

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If you like to read try "Food Over Medicine". After staying the same weight for 6 months I've lost 7pounds in the last three weeks.



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BAPSANN
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9/24/13 9:47 A

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I think it is individualized and can be caused by either.

All things are possible if you only believe, even losing 15 pounds


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NEXTSTEPS
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9/24/13 9:33 A

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Peter Attia gave a very emotional and informative TedTalk on this topic. I think he is spot-on. if you haven't seen it, you can easily find it by searching TedTalk and Diabetes. So many things factor into this. For instance, normal weight women who once suffered from anorexia are more likely to develop Type II diabetes. If you have psoriasis, you are more likely to develop Type II diabetes. So much we don't understand about this conversation and although calories and energy expenditure count, nothing is gained by judging people because they are struggling with weight and related health issues.

Barbara (aka NextSteps)

"Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult." - Hippocrates


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PTPHIL
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9/24/13 7:30 A

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As a educated personal trainer, I know that obesity, in MOST cases,is caused by lifestyle. When people don't take care of themselves by having a good diet, exercising, and dealing with their life stresses, the body breaks down. When the body breaks down,disease occurs. Hence disease and obesity are a result of poor lifestyle. And often people never realize this and worse is that they are not told this by their doctors, we need to educate ourselves and keep asking why? when we go seek help, so we can fix the problem naturally.

Wishing all Good Health!

Edited by: PTPHIL at: 9/24/2013 (10:43)


EWL978
EWL978's Photo Posts: 2,018
9/23/13 9:53 P

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Is Obesity Caused by Lifestyle or Disease?

My answer is "YES"!!

LIVE FOR EACH MOMENT...
TODAY well lived makes every YESTERDAY a memory of happiness and every TOMORROW a vision of hope!!

ELAINE...
(Originally of Boston, MA now living in Boynton Beach, FL)


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POETLKNG2LOSE
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9/23/13 9:38 P

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I think it is both because like other ones said obesity can be caused by the metabolism being wrong or the thyroid, It also is caused by a life style of eating fatty high carb foods and not exercising. You have to have the motivation to do something about it.

You can call me Laura.
I live in Peshtigo , Wisconsin.
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FERRET_MOMMY
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9/23/13 7:36 P

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I think both. You have to have a healthy lifestyle to be healthy and most obese people have a food addiction. And, addiction is a disease.



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TMPEBBLZ
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9/23/13 7:10 P

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I think for some people it is because of lifestyle but for others it is a disease. There are so many things that can cause people to be obese, despite eating healthy. For instance, metabolism, thyroid, etc. I knew a little girl (21 years or so ago) who was only 2 years old. She was healthy (as far as being active, etc.) and ate fruits and vegetables instead of sweets and snacks, and had her portions measured out (nothing was fried), and she didn't like McDonalds or fast food. She didn't even eat between meals or while watching television. Unfortunately, she also weighed over 100 lbs. (her parents and siblings were all normal weight). The doctor did tests and everything since nothing helped her lose any weight. Come to find out, her metabolism was way off and had been for a while. That is what caused her to gain weight in the first place- therefore it was a disease. I wish I knew what happened to the little girl.

Obesity (and the propensity for obesity) can also be hereditary (which is what I was told by my primary doctor, my nutritionist, my dietician, and the surgeon who did my gastric bypass surgery in 2009. That is what they think happened to me. You can trace obesity in my family back to my great-great grandparents on my bio-dad's side of the family. I am not blaming my being obese completely on heredity. It also has to do with my lifestyle choices. I still struggle with making the right choices even after having the weight loss surgery back in 2009.

As stated before, I think it can be either one, depending on the person. Considering that it is also the result of an addiction to food (as Science has frequently pointed out)



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LOST_IN_NY
Posts: 31
9/23/13 9:00 A

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In my case, the extra weight was definitely a lifestyle thing - as I got older, I wasn't burning the calories the way I used to, despite comparable level of physical activity and I gained 15% of my body weight before I reached the (obvious) conclusion that I had to make better food choices and/or up the physical activity level. In most of other folks that I've known who've gotten overweight, it was lifestyle, the same thing as with me; however, I have known a few that gained weight because of medications they were taking and I recognize that some people just gain weight more easily than others (egg., eating same foods, getting same amount of exercise) so it takes a lot more effort for them to maintain a healthy weight than for the average person. If I was in that situation, I am sure it would be lot harder to get back to a healthy weight and I don't know if I would have been able get to it via lifestyle choices.



WINDY01
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9/22/13 5:27 P

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In my opinion, I'd have to say the bottom line is lifestyle. Some of us are more prone to be overweight, but we all have the ability to be what is considered a "normal:" weight. I know for me, if I do everything the way I know a I should, I can maintain a normal weight. But often, I get distracted by life, and go back to old habits. The weight has caused some disease, but I am sure they can be brought closer to normal if I get down to the right size. I will continue this battle for the rest of my life, because when I let up, I gain weight.

Working the program because the program works.


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SEAJESS
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9/22/13 3:19 P

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For me, it is lifestyle. However, my disease of juvenile diabetes makes weight gain easier through unskillful use of insulin AND I know there ARE diseases that can contribute to or cause overweight. That said, we all need to be careful to do as much as we can to focus on preventing lifestyle overweight and not to use disease as an excuse.

Jess
Seattle WA

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