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Is Obesity a Disease, Addiction or a Choice

Updated on March 16, 2017
Author Cheryl profile image

I have been a member of Hub pages going on five years. I have published 8 books and write in many genres. Writing is my passion.

It's a Competitive World

The Controversy

66% of Americans are obese and medical personnel continue to put obesity as a disease. Is it really a disease when eating is a choice?. I know all about the crushing feelings of being obese. When I was a child my mother filled us full of peanut butter and jelly, pancakes and spaghetti because she had to give us food that filled us up. We were poor and everything she made was of course unhealthy.

Let's look at the definition of each word.

Disease as defined as an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally. A problem that a person, group, organization, or society has and cannot stop.

Addiction defined as a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal: A persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

Choice is defined as picking or deciding between two or more possibilities. The opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities.

In order for the medical community to get paid for obesity related illnesses, the FDA chose to call obesity a disease.

In my opinion we all choose every single day what we put in our bodies. I believe that sugar is an addiction but eating unhealthy foods is a choice.

My menu yesterday consisted of a Dunkin Doughnuts large coffee and a creme filled doughnut. Lunch was a piece of Oreo pie, brownie and a diet Pepsi and dinner was an Oreo Mcflurry. I never do these kinds of things but it all was a choice and now I will pay the consequences. I am a sugar addict so that little feat yesterday will put me in a two to three week binge.

Is it a Choice

Our Families

My grandmother cooked with lard, baked like there was no tomorrow and allowed us to eat all we wanted of anything with no limits on sweets. They were never obese because they kept busy. They didnt sit on the couch on a lap top, watching tv and playing video games. They were moving all day, well into the night.

My eating habits formed early on as a child. My mother didn't make us eat what she fixed if we didn't want it. She would make something different for us. So I was an unhappy fat child but couldn't help myself.

As an adult, should I blame my mother on my choices of food? No. I am old enough to decide what I want to put in my body. Is junk food addicting? Of course it is. It has that feel good that goes to our brain when we are stressed. We are fortunate enough to have the choice of anything that we want. Sometimes our choices are not always what is best for us.

Which Do You Think It Is

Is obesity a disease, choice or addiction

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What Physcians Say

In an effort to focus greater attention on the weight-gain epidemic plaguing the United States, the American Medical Association has now classified obesity as a disease.

The decision will hopefully pave the way for more attention by doctors on obesity and its dangerous complications, and may even increase insurance coverage for treatments, experts said.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris said in a statement Tuesday. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity."

Fruit and Vegetables Taste Good So What is the Issue?

How Do We Stop Allowing Food to Control Us

America runs on Duncan with a 650 calorie breakfast. McDonalds offers their dollar menu for lunch and KFC runs a special on dinner with a ten piece of greasy chicken with two full sides and a cake for desert.

We all need to get up from the computer playing Candy Crush and take the dog for a walk instead of just letting him out in the yard. Ten minutes of walking daily could save you 120 burnt up calories.

Obese people don't want to exercise. We want to be left alone. But at what cost? High blood pressure, diabetes and other things associated with obesity.

Food is our love. We would never go to bed hungry because I can have ice cream before bed time, topped with carmel syrup.

Family and Friends are Associated With Food

When we all get together with family and friends, it is always 99% of the time associated with food. Especially in my family and I am sure some of yours. We love to see each other but a nice big fluffy piece of cake with gooey iceing and a plate full of cookies is our heaven.

The problem with this behavior is we don't get enjoyment out of each other unless food is involved. At work we always find a way to celebrate with food. It's someone's birthday, someone is having a baby, someone is retiring or let's have a luncheon with two deserts.

Our minds associate happiness with food. How can we change the world from food addiction?

Obesity is Rising More Each Year

They said by 2050 100% of the population will be obese. I think that number is incorrect. I belive in a few short years we will all be obese. We are a epidemic now. Listen to this video there are some good points. What will happen to us? They say that people are living longer now but how can that be when we are all tipping the scales over?

What About Other Addictions

Smoking, pill popping, meth, alcohol, food are all addictions.  So what is one to do to stop?
Smoking, pill popping, meth, alcohol, food are all addictions. So what is one to do to stop?

Bariatric Surgery: Is it the Cure All

The by pass, lapband and now the verticle sleeve give obese people a way to lose weight fast but the only issue with these surgeries is our minds are not changing with our bodies. I had lap band surgery 5 year ago. I got down to a nice size and then a tragedy happen in my life and I no longer cared about my appearance. I cared about feeding my heart that was broken and that cost me 40lbs weight gain.

Over half of bariatric patients gain weight back after surgery because the problem is the devil in your mind is not fixed. That "oh I can have one doughnut won't hurt me" creeps back in your mind and then you are consuming a dozen.

What is Going to Happen to Us Down the Road

First and foremost I was not writing this hub to put anyone down because I am not by any means skinny. I was trying to shed some light on the three forms that can all be called obesity. Is it a disease, addiction or choice.

Every day I make a choice what goes into my body. I love sweets and feel good carbs to only crash another hour later and pick it up again. You can't crash at work mid morning. You need a snickers or cup cake or candy bar to bring you joy, while getting your job done.

I will be honest I hate exercise with a passion. Walking my pooch is not happiness for me. I do it for him because he needs it. So if he needs exercise why don't I think I do. Because it's easier to sit on my computer and see what everyone else is doing on face book then taking care of myself. I am exhausted from my sugar load from yesterday. I say every morning today I will do better and that time never happens. Am I a disease, addiction or choice? I will say I am all three.


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    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Thank you teaches and alphadogg 16 for commenting. I know I would have probably been beheaded if is said it was a choice but we have to take responsibility what we eat. No one is forcing it down your throat.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You have challenged my thoughts on this topic. I can understand how it may be a disease for some people and a choice for others. With the foods sold in today's stores, many can become addicted to the sugars and this contributes to excess weight. Good job on this subject!

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 3 years ago from Texas

      Interesting points Author Cheryl. We definitely have an epidemic on our hands. In my personal & professional opinion, Obesity is a choice. There are several medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc that excessive weight gain is a side effect, however, whether you have some type of medical affliction or became obese by bad habits & Burger King, losing large amounts of weight is a process and a complete lifestyle change. Most people do not comprehend that and try to cheat/take short cuts. If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. Thumbs up on your hub.

    • profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago

      Great article and some very thought profounding points. I guess it just isnt one answer no is it.