Greater than 350,000 SparkPoints 557,466

Obesity is now a "disease"?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And what on earth does that mean? Do we really think that if doctors are paid to tell you that you are overweight, you'll just "snap out of it"? What can a medical community tell you that you don't already know, in agonizing detail? Cheetos make me fat??? Really?? Like I don't already know!

I remember when alcoholism was listed as a disease. Rehabs opened all over the country, happy to take insurance dollars. But did it get more people sober? No. It made non-alcoholics feel better, like they were "doing something about the problem", but until an alcoholic has an honest desire to get sober, willing to go to any lengths needed (and oh how long those lengths are!), he won't succeed. That's every minute of every day, no minutes off. Rehabs cannot give an alcoholic that desire, it has to come from within. Most alcoholics do not recover; they cannot maintain that desire in real life. It's hard work that eases over time, but it requires action and willingness, for the rest of your life, something that no other person can give you.

Even if obesity is a disease, the cure is still up to the person facing the doughnut. We have all been there, many of us succeeded, not because of medical help (I heard it all) but because one day, we found that something that comes from......where? But we were able to walk past the doughnut. Then do it again and again. Every day, day after day. And those of us who have been able to keep it off don't do it because we know we are sick, but because we know that for SOME reason, we can't have the doughnut.

If someone can invent that magic pill that makes doughnuts taste terrible (and the pharmaceutical industry knows that whoever invents it will be the richest company in the world, they aren't waiting for the "disease" label) then we won't have to work so hard, log every bite, be constantly aware. I am not holding my breath for that pill.

So I weigh, measure, log, plan, every day. There is no magic in a label, no magic pill. If only!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's tricky because while I agree that people can't help what they don't first own up to, I remember how all the well meant advice rolled off my back when I was in the middle of it. You're right that the change has to come from within.
    1761 days ago
  • IMAGINE_IT has to come from within.....totally agree with you.....and this is a great Blog!!
    1762 days ago
    So tough, so true. Every day.
    1762 days ago
    This is the truth. I agree.
    1764 days ago
    I totally agree with you....

    1765 days ago
    I am just as shocked as you are... Hey, pass the bag of potato chips, the box of chocolates, the tub of ice cream and the box of cookies, and dont forget the super size meal #2 at Mc Donald's while I watch the all day reruns of Friends on TV... Remember it is a disease!!! Yes, being fat is not a disability - my son is mentally retarded (now called intellectually disabled), now this IS a disability. Another example of people not taking responsibility. This is shameful.
    1765 days ago
    Thanks so much for this, Nell! It's all about making healthy decisions every day, multiple times a day. Some days are easier than others. I know where I can find the support of like-minded people, but I still have to decide to accept that support.

    I've gotten some spectacularly bad medical advice regarding alcoholism. I wonder what will happen now that obesity is a disease. Will donuts be restricted to people over 21? Will parents be arrested if a child's BMI is too high? Nutrition information itself is not the answer -- it only works when people incorporate that information into their daily lives. There's no quick fix, pill, surgery or magic.
    1765 days ago
    There is no magic pill, but I'm glad insurance companies will now pay for things like nutrition counseling. It might help some folks.
    1765 days ago
    Good reactions. Though I do have sympathy for those who've gone past overweight to obese and then on to morbidly obese...the BMI range is not very forgiving.
    Plus....there are food pushers. It's not one of my problems but I hear many people say that everywhere they go, people are pushing food. It's another excuse but it does happen.
    1766 days ago
    What did the medical community do before the official declaration that obesity is a disease? Did obese people seeking bariatric surgery have to pay for it themselves, or did insurance help? If their primary care physicians referred them to nutritionists, did insurance help there? What does the official designation mean? I hope it doesn't mean obesity is another means to claim disability. Certainly the real diseases associated with obesity (joint problems, diabetes) are cause for disability, but it seems labeling obesity a disease just gives people another excuse to be victims.
    1766 days ago
  • --KREN
    Same reaction here. If obesity is a disease it is HAND TO MOUTH disease! We have to stay aware every moment, and unlike alcoholics who can AVOID alcohol, AND don't have people trying to force alcohol on them, those of us with food issues must face food every day, AND so often everyone around us is pushing us to eat MORE.


    Thanks, Nell.

    1766 days ago
  • GABY1948
    OH MY GOODNESS!! I cannot believe from all your blogs how alike you and I think...I have been sputtering the same since I heard the claim of "disease" the other day!

    SO much wisdom in this blog that I wish I could take out billboards all along the main highways and post it...but then, people are dumb enough to read it while driving like they do texting and drinking and more would be killed!

    THANK YOU for sharing this, Nell!
    1766 days ago
  • MZLADY77
    You are telling the truth about the whole thing! Obesity as the disease? It is about money! Good blog!
    1766 days ago
    It's the blame game! I can't help myself because I'm sick.....bologna! I got overweight by putting my hand to my mouth with something ooey gooey good in it! The first requisite to being set free from ANY addiction, whether it be food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, whatever, is that you must truly WANT to be free, bad enough to pay the price to get your freedom!
    1766 days ago
    I agree totally. It takes constant never ending hard work and the desire to lose weight or maintain a loss.
    1766 days ago
    unbelievable what they said
    1766 days ago
    Perhaps with it being a disease more insurance MIGHT give assistance in helping people get healthy
    1766 days ago
    People want an answer to everything, a pill for everything. It's never that easy or simple. Naming it a disease doesn't give us a cure. You are so right
    1766 days ago
    When I heard people could get disability for being obese, it blew me away. Being fat is not a disability. Being unwilling to work on your health is!
    1766 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by NELLJONES