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Why is Obesity being considered a disease?

  1. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    There are conditions/disorders that can cause weight gain, but there are also lifestyle changes that come with them and control it. In my opinion obesity basically comes down to bad habits, bad choices and laziness. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

    1. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I understand your point, and agree...but calling things a disease does a couple things people like.  First, it removes at least some degree of accountability, and lots of folks are all about avoiding that.  Second, it may open the opportunity for insurance to pay for "treatments" or operations.  In all fairness though, it is an addiction and every bit as valid to call it a disease as any other addiction.  So are addictions diseases or not?

    2. Ericdierker profile image81
      Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Sneezing, cold sweats, obesity, ear ache, acne are not diseases no matter how hard someone wants to label them that. They are symptoms of disease or malfunctioning systems of our body. Modern western medicine and big pharma will continue to make billions off of false labeling like this.
      Obesity is a symptom not a disease. So unless we know the cause of the obesity it is reckless to over stigmatize. If you looked at me, you might say I am fat. I am very healthy. (just hiked into a canyon at 5,000 ft elevation with a pack over 60 lbs). The disease that causes me to have a belly is all me and my happy life. Six pack abs look funny on a 55 year old. Kind of like dying your hair.

    3. Silverspeeder profile image61
      Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Who considers it to be a disease? If it were any then it could be considered a disability and any reference to it could be construed as being discriminatory.

      1. psycheskinner profile image79
        psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Incorrect.  A disability is a specific list in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Almost every known disease is excluded.

    4. Uninvited Writer profile image82
      Uninvited Writerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Where did you get your medical degree?

    5. Bishop55 profile image91
      Bishop55posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I agree 95%!! laziness and terrible choices.

  2. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    In my opinion, no, an addiction is not a disease, it is the result of a bad choice/habit. Drug addicts, alcoholics make a choice to do so. Disease by definition impairs normal function. If you did not make that choice, you would not be impaired. Even with prescription medications, there's a warning label, if abused not used in moderation it could become addictive. If you choose not to heed those warnings, its a choice. So would a man who repeatedly beats on women be considered an addict or have a disease?

    1. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Good point.  There are many who would chalk that up to a mental disorder and give them a pass as a disease as well.  Like you were getting at, actions and decisions have consequences....and they should.  Otherwise, what incentive is there to correct and improve?

      1. Mighty Mom profile image90
        Mighty Momposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I will tell you what the incentive is. It's to keep from losing everything in your life,
        including your life.

        1. bBerean profile image60
          bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Very true.  I know I talked about people not wanting accountability, not wanting to take responsibility either.  All well and good for semantics, but if you have lung cancer, diabetes, liver failure, etc and if it is largely due to your decisions...you aren't escaping accountability no matter what you tell yourself and others or what label you use.

  3. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    As you said, its accountability, you should be accountable for the choices you make. Exercise and healthy diet can easily cure obesity, are insurance company's going to cover groceries and gym memberships?

    1. purpleveil profile image83
      purpleveilposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Obesity is not always a moral, mental or emotional choice, I have hypothyroid disease. My metabolism is soooooooooo slow that I had to be hospitalized because my HEART would not beat correctly. Diet and exercise IS NOT! the cure for this. Once, when I was in the hospital I had to fast for three days, but I GAINED 3 pounds on the IV fluid. Exercise doesn't help. In fact, it can make me pass out for a couple of hours, It is NOT laziness, it is NOT addiction, it is a disease of the endocrine system that I have to work very hard to control. If you think this is not a disease, it's because you are ignorant of the facts!

      1. bBerean profile image60
        bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I am very sorry to hear about your situation.  You are in the vast minority among those suffering from obesity, and have to endure the stigma created  by those whose situation is of their own making.  Having been athletic when I was young, including weight lifting, I gained a love of food and eating at a time when I could not only afford to, I could use the calories.  Not so these days, and weight is an issue I deal with...but I own it.  It is my fault I am overweight and I am working to resolve it.

        1. Bishop55 profile image91
          Bishop55posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          yes vast minority, that's why my comment said 95% agreed.  There are a few exceptions like Purpleveil, and for that I am sorry.  I liked your comment bBerean.

      2. Sue Bailey profile image88
        Sue Baileyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Me too!  I have hypothyroidism but I don't have the slow heart problem,  mine is too fast and I have to take beta blockers which slow me down even more and increase the tiredness and lethargy.  I do not have the energy to exercise much and I think this is the problem.

      3. Doneen Blum profile image59
        Doneen Blumposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Me too I have hypothyroidism and I too am on beta blockers .  I lost 150 lbs and i now have more health problems.  I have high blood pressure and arthritis throughout my body I have an new ankle and i now have to get my knees replaced and the doctor has told me i have to loose 60 lbs before he will do the first one.  So no I am not lazy and it is not my choice to be big.  I work all the time to eat less and now i dont eat enough food so my body holds on to everything. Being big is not fun.  losing weight especially when they change your meds and you gain 30 lbs not good.

        1. Paul Kemp profile image90
          Paul Kempposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Have you ever thought that your meds might be contributing to your weight gain? Restricting how much you eat does cause your body to hang on to every calorie and store it as FAT. It's not how MUCH we eat, but WHAT we eat that makes us heavy. Cut out all oils, go on a vegetarian diet, lots of steamed veggies, no sugar, maybe a couple of eggs a day, plus a daily 30-minute brisk walk and see what happens.

  4. Zelkiiro profile image84
    Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago

    The bacteria told me to eat the cake! It's true!

    1. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hey!  You just made me put down my cake.  wink

      1. Zelkiiro profile image84
        Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Well, good. Because you can't have your cake AND eat it, too!

        1. bBerean profile image60
          bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Seriously then, unless you are into collecting "cake art", what's the point?

        2. profile image0
          Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Actually one can have there cake and eat it too, they just can't eat the cake and have it too.

  5. cathylynn99 profile image78
    cathylynn99posted 3 years ago

    according to the AMA, 90% of lung cancer is caused by smoking (lifestyle, "bad choices"), yet lung cancer is a disease, so why not obesity? alcoholism has been considered a disease for years. why not over-eating?

    1. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Exactly why it is a slippery slope and hard to decide where the line should go, since bad decisions, irresponsibility and lifestyle choices do manifest themselves in physical ways.  Consider diabetes, much of which is the result of obesity.

  6. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    @ Cathylynn, your right, lung cancer shouldn't be a disease, along with a long list of other afflictions. No one forces you to put cigarettes in your mouth. There's no accountability anywhere any more, & not just in health. You eat at Mcdonald's everyday, you have a disease, you shoot up a school, your crazy, you kill some one & you have money, its self defense. No one is accountable for anything.

    1. Mighty Mom profile image90
      Mighty Momposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      So let me get this straight. Cancer should not be a disease?
      Really?

    2. Bishop55 profile image91
      Bishop55posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      it all goes back to choices unless medically documented and proven.  There are a lot of non-smokers that get lung cancer, there are a lot of obese people that have medical conditions preventing weight loss.  That's where the low percentage comes in.  Most/majority can choose to either die of cancer from smoking, or from a heart attack from weighing 500 lbs.  Some/few cannot....low percentage in the few/cannot category.

  7. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    @ Mighty mom, we were referring to lung cancer, specifically, for the most part comes from smoking
    @ Purpleveil, that was the point, you have an affliction and you "work to control it", meaning you changed your lifestyle, you don't eat Burger King every day

  8. profile image0
    Beth37posted 3 years ago

    Im not arguing the point either way cause quite frankly... it's not up to me, Im not a doctor, and Im not about to attempt to change any laws on this forum, but I thought this made a good point: the definition.

    disĀ·ease  (d-zz)
    n.
    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.


    Under that definition, you could easily call alcoholism and obesity a disease as one of the causes is environmental stress. Of course genetics have a lot to do with it. All of my children are healthy and in very good shape, but I have one child who was adopted and she has had abs of steel since she was about 3... no kidding. DNA plays a part. You tie DNA and social stresses in with a kid who was not taught to eat right, who's mother couldn't afford healthy food, and didn't live in a safe neighborhood to go out and get exercise... you're going to have issues. Im not dismissing it, I have just always found it unkind how some ppl feel comfortable singling overweight ppl out. (I remember Jay Leno roasting Oprah, and all comedians for that matter, basically tearing ppl down with no thought to how much they might be hurting them.) It seems like we are quick to pick up the torches and we forget to look at our own flaws. We all have them. But anyway... my point being, there is the definition, if it helps.

    1. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      That definition is helpful. My purpose in saying anything is, just like you have stated regarding issues of eternal significance, taking ownership of a problem is pretty much the first step in resolving it.  I can speak to this one as it is a battle I fight.  People who look for someone or thing else to blame, do themselves no favors.  You know a little of my situation in caring for my daughter, working a lot, living off only a couple hours of sleep a night for 20 years...I have plenty of good excuses.  In the end though, the reason why won't matter. 

      Perhaps there is more than one issue, as I also would like people to be able to get help when they need it, and if calling things a disease is what that takes, that should be considered.  Folks who don't take accountability though for whatever contributory part they do play, are creating a grim prognosis for themselves regardless of what efforts others, including the medical community, may invest.  Don't let "I can't help it, I have a disease" be the mantra used to justify taking that next cigarette or supersizing.  Don't disrespect folks like purpleveil who do have a valid reason, by excusing yourself, if in reality you could take control.

      1. profile image0
        Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I understand. I lost a lot of weight myself a few years back... I like to call it baby weight even though at the time my youngest was 6... whatever.

        I just don't know if it matters. For some, disease might be an excuse not to overcome. For some, disease might give them the reason, they just never understood. (Like, "Why me? What is different about me? Why am *I the one with this problem?") Then armed with the fact that they do indeed have different factors that others may not, they may be ready to do battle instead of feeling like they are getting run over by life. It just doesn't matter. Ppl will do what they will do. It takes more than one word to give or take power... it's a life time of words and I say we stop pointing the finger at others and making ppl feel like dirt. (Not talking to you, just society in general.) The old adage remains, "If you can't say something nice..."

        1. bBerean profile image60
          bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Understood Beth.  I want people to get better, and like I said regarding witnessing, telling people it is okay when it is not, isn't helping them.  Being supportive is good.  We should not be demeaning...but don't "enable" them to fail.  That is all I was getting at.  I do see people not taking responsibility and making excuses.  It is sad when they pay, and I don't want to say I contributed to their problem for the sake of being PC.

      2. Bishop55 profile image91
        Bishop55posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Man...you nailed that "taking ownership of a problem is pretty much the first step in resolving it."  we could apply that to most of the worlds problems!

        1. psycheskinner profile image79
          psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Taking ownership of the part under your control is.  Taking ownership of the parts not under your control is a path to mental illness.

          1. profile image0
            Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I don't know if that is a common saying in your line of work, but Ive not heard it before and it's very powerful.

  9. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    @ bBerean - very well said.....and that was definitely the point....

    1. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks Alpha.  I could tell we were on the same page.  wink

  10. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    A disease is "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any body part, organ, or system that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs"

    So how is obesity not a disease?

    1. Ericdierker profile image81
      Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      It is right there in your definition --- obesity is a characteristic of an endocrine disease (for instance). Just like sneezing is a characteristic of allergic reaction. "Healthcare" spends millions "treating symptoms". It is like going to the doctor for a cough and she gives you "cough medicine" --- gee thanks, how about treating the cause of the cough rather than just suppressing the symptom? Diet pills do not fix the cause of obesity they just treat the symptom.

      1. psycheskinner profile image79
        psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Obesity is a deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of the body due to having far too much adipose tissue.

        It can have a whole lot of difference ultimate causes most of which have nothing to do with the endocrine system.

        Looks like pretty much anything can be a disease.  It might be work considering *why* the AMA changes the category and what they hoped to achieve, rather than just having a knee jerk reaction.

        1. Ericdierker profile image81
          Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          The answer to your question is pretty obvious. Medical Coding determines Medical Billing, that system is near sacrosanct. So in order to get paid for work directly related to curing fatness rather than the cause, you label it a disease and whalah, lap bands are now a recognized treatment of a disease, not an elective procedure. Healthcare providers make no money from us getting out of the easy chair and exercising.

  11. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    And yet seeing a doctor about your out of control weight is probably a good idea, and if this will encourage that--I am all for it.

    1. Ericdierker profile image81
      Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      And it will be covered by medicare, medicaid and Obamacare.

  12. profile image60
    Projekt101posted 3 years ago

    Obesity is just as much a disease as anorexia and bulimia. There are cases where it comes from a pure lack of self control, but there are also a lot of cases where the person can't control their weight, even with the best self control. Not everything can be looked at in black and white. You gotta understand the gray areas too.

  13. Paul Kemp profile image90
    Paul Kempposted 3 years ago

    I generally agree. There are rare cases where the weight gain is due to a disease -- or more likely, some prescription drug that slows metabolism -- but, for the most part, you nailed it.
    There are so many flavor-enhancing food additives that cause the eater to lose control of their appetite (this includes the sugars added to most processed foods), so that unless the person is aware of this and avoids those foods, they will end up overeating all the time. Compounding the problems of lack of awareness of what healthy eating is, and lack of willpower to do it, there is the tendency to not exercise enough. Obese people need to accept responsibility for their condition and find ways to correct it -- it is, after all, life-threatening and a giant drag on one's quality of life.

  14. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    @Doneen Blum - you should definitely not be eating less, especially since you probably can't exercise much I'm assuming with the arthritis/bad knees/ankle. Your thyroid needs iodine, so your diet should consists of foods rich in iodine & selenium like salt water fish, sushi, seaweeds/sea food, chicken, tuna, & whole unrefined grains.

 
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