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So, is obesity now a disease?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

OMG- I am SO on the fence about that AMA ruling!
Do we choose to pick up those cookies, or chips, or whatever?
Is it the food industry or the advertising industry or some such that are luring us in against our will?
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But the best line I heard about it was on the Onion
"Finally! Maybe Michelle Obama will stop harassing all those poor sick children!"
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    Possibly - here is a report from the British Nutrition Foundation:

    Almost half of women of child-bearing age in England are overweight or obese and this can be the cause of a biological cycle of maternal obesity leading to health issues for children in later life.

    Sara Stanner, science programme manager at BNF, said: ‘There is now unequivocal evidence to show the biological link between obesity and weight-related health issues in women and their children.

    This is a very important message in the fight against obesity. Women need to know that their weight and health, during pregnancy and even before they conceive, plays a key part in securing a healthy long-term future for their children'.
    1795 days ago
    I'm on the fence just doesn't SEEM like a disease to me, since we kind of do it to ourselves for a huge variety of reasons (some of which are certainly diseases, but some of which are not). LOL I love the Onion quote!
    1795 days ago
  • SOFT_VAL67
    I am on the fence about obesity being a disease as well, however, as the mother of a child who is a recovering drug addict, i was able to begin seeing addiction in myself, food addicton, addiction to bad choices concerning my food and health.
    so, in that regard, i do believe obesity, is a result of a disease.
    but then, when i do look at the overweight children, and i was at a baby shower this week where there were a handful of them, eating, stuffing junk in their mouthes, drinking soda, while the mother did the same....i am concerned if it is a disease of heredity or environment or upbringing.
    just unsure, but, i do believe food addiction is real, as my son was celebrating one year of being clean, i began recognizing habits in myself, only substitute pills for coca cola and candy bars and pizza, and there isnt a day goes by i dont have to struggle to fight those desires.
    but i have been clean from coca cola for a year and working really hard to fight all the others.
    1796 days ago
  • FISHER011
    I'm still on the fence, need to understand the ruling better. Interesting subject-thanks for the share & your opinions.
    1796 days ago
    As one who used to be obese and now isn't, I strongly and passionately take the extreme stand that the AMA's decision is totally irrelevant.

    Any laws, creeds, discussions tend to lead to people doing the exact same things that didn't make a difference the last time the "Obesity Epidemic" was up for discussion.

    - Restaurants will put out "healthier" lower calorie options that are still laced with sugar and salt.
    - Companies will reluctantly continue to post even more nutrion information that most of it's consumers will continue to ignore.
    - People will continue to eat the same foods (or "lower" sugar/salt/fat versions) of them that are not really much healthier.
    - Obesity/overweight levels will continue to rise.
    - In order to address the even worse Obesity Epidemic, some other law-making group or well respected institution/collaboration will either pass another law or make another creed about obesity.
    - rinse, lather, repeat.

    As long as a personal health issue gets addressed as a political, sociological or moral issue and is treated and discussed as such, there won't be a resolution.

    Sorry for the rant.
    1796 days ago
    I'm on the fence about this one too! But of course, I'm glad there will be individuals who will now get treatment for their "illness"...but on the other hand, I just see some latching on to this & thinking well, that they can't do anything about being "obese" because they have a "disease". But of course, most people are "obese" because of their sedentary lifestyle & food habits & not so much because it's a genetic disposition. Oh, I know there are people who have genuine medical reasons why they're overweight. All this doesn't change the fact that even though they've been diagnosed, they STILL have to manage the "disease" with diet & exercise! Duh! The end result will remain the same! One must take responsiblity for the "disease" as...there is no magic.

    I'm certain we haven't heard the end of this debate!
    1797 days ago
    Oh my you gave me a good laugh! Maybe it is a social disease.... in the sense that the sale of foods that are unhealthy dominate the north American market place. It isn't the kids that need changing it's the food industry. When we get GMO foods, and sugars out of the market place people will be able to make good choices again.
    When schools get kids moving again kids will slim down.
    It seems so obvious.
    1797 days ago
    I think yes -aren't some diseases from' life style choices' that have bad consequences, affect the ability of the person to enjoy a full life, are life threatening, affect the person as a whole?

    Alcoholism, drugs, mental illness, depression?

    These all need drugs to control and obesity leads to the need for medication to control the effects as well. Heart disease, stroke, etc.

    1797 days ago
  • EDWARDS1411
    Hmmmm ... very interesting comments!
    1797 days ago
    I am so worried about all of this. for all of us that have worked so hard to concur our weakness for food. I blame the food producers that get so many people hooked on crap.
    I know enough said.

    1797 days ago
    Very interesting conversations, and I'm still confused on the answer! Why can one person eat burgers and not gain and another can't? Why do some have such a high metabolism and some almost none? Maybe they'll study it all some more now.
    Thanks for a great topic.
    1797 days ago
    Yes and no is my answer too. Glad to know I am not the only one
    1797 days ago
    Great blog -- look at the discussion you started! (Love the M.Obama joke too!)

    To me, I'd say no, it's not a disease. It's a condition that results from an unhealthy lifestyle. Some are more prone to gaining weight than others, due to heredity or what have you. But 99.99999% of fat people did it to themselves, and I count myself in that number. We know it. We ate too much and didn't exercise enough.

    Calling it a disease seems to smack of victimhood. Poor me, I'm fat, where's my magic pill to take away this disease? Jeez. People need to own up to their choices.

    ***Truth: The comment about gaining weight from prednisone -- I don't know anything about non-self-inflicted causes of obesity, so I'm really not lumping those in with my rant.
    1797 days ago
    I just had to respond to this when I saw your blog because it hit a spot. I have to say yes and no too. It's not a disease when it's self-inflicted just by eating wrong and tons without having a disease like a low thyroid, etc. If a person is on weight gaining drugs like prednisone, etc., like I have been since 2008, then I feel that it can't be helped, that with no matter how a person eats or exercises, you just gain weight. But to contradict that, I've lost 67# with my condition. Have gained 10# back and are losing that thanks to SP and my friends here. So I know that it's possibly to overcome almost anything. A person just has to eat less and exercise more. It's tough for me to exercise, so I have to try to eat less and then there'
    s my beloved recumbent bike that I love. So it's a yes and a no.
    1797 days ago
    Good topic. Great comments ~

    I say it's a Condition, which often contributes to other conditions or leads to disease. Being overweight complicates anything and everything else AND/OR then things are missed.

    I could go on and on, but it's someone else's turn to speak.

    1797 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    No ambiguity on my part! It is NOT a disease, it is a result of lifestyle choices, therefore it IS a lifestyle choice. In over 99% of the cases, if one makes a decision to improve one's health and is willing to make the lifestyle choices to change it, the obesity resolves itself. You can't just change your lifestyle to cure Cystic Fibrosis, Breast Cancer and Sepsis, for instance. Though lifestyle choices can LEAD to those diseases, it can't cure them. We can 'cure' ourselves of obesity by controlling what goes in your mouth and what we do with our bodies.

    *Now stepping off my soap box*
    1797 days ago
    It doesn't really matter what it is called, like alcoholism, there are distinct steps that can be taken to overcome this life threatening problem. It is an INSIDE job which is why putting down the alcohol or going on a diet, alone, never works. It requires much self inventory and lots of hard work to discover underlying causes for unhealthy behavior. I speak from personal experience with food and alcohol.
    Thanks, Elizabeth, for bringing up the topic!!!
    1797 days ago
    My son, DIL and I discussed this while I was visiting them, and we decided that it is not a disease, but that people can be per-disposed to obesity in the same way they can be per-disposed to alcoholism, heart disease, diabetes, etx. However, except in extreme cases such as a mal-functioning thyroid, people can overcome this per-disposition to obesity by eating correctly and exercising regularly.
    1797 days ago
    I haven't heard the AMA ruling yet...
    1797 days ago
    I see numerous problems with the decision. First and foremost is the issue of whether obesity truly meets the criteria to be dubbed a 'disease'! This line of thinking is much like the chicken-egg debate of which came first. Terms like disease, syndrome and condition have specific meanings; diagnostic criteria must be established for such classifications. From my limited knowledge of the differences my perspective is that obesity remains a "condition". It does not have a specific biological cause (which helps categorize 'disease'), but in fact may reflect any of many underlying causations. Other matters complicate the tangled web of the decision. Example? Sure it MIGHT improve insurability but... Will the label affect insurability due to the 'preexisting condition' issues?

    Was glad to see that I'm not the only one who considers that obesity is more likely the result of other issues. Since societal factors of the convenience-laden modern world often lead to obesity, perhaps we should classify modern society as a disease and develop some cures. Now THERE's an idea!
    1797 days ago
    Geez---I have mixed thoughts about this also. Leaning toward it not being disease but would have to look up their definition of disease.
    1797 days ago
    I'm not so sure about obesity being a disease either. I think it may be more a result of diseases and conditions. I agree with Maggie. On the fence.
    1797 days ago
    1798 days ago
    I don';t know what to think either.....
    1798 days ago
    Yes and no, is my reaction. I am sure there is anoint when a body has been pushed so far that it indeed a disease and I an NOT talking about diabetes etc.
    1798 days ago
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