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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obesity as a Disease?

The American Medical Association – the largest organization of physicians in the United States – this month formally recognized obesity as a disease. "The purpose of the policy is to advance obesity treatment and prevention," wrote AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven. "It issues a call for a paradigm shift in the way the medical community tackles this complicated issue so that we can reduce the number of Americans suffering from the effects of heart disease, diabetes, disability and other potentially life-changing health conditions."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults are obese. The CDC estimates that obesity also affects 17 percent of children, "triple the rate from just one generation ago." An estimate from the nonprofit RTI International says that about 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030 if obesity trends continue.

Dr. Lou Aronne, an obesity expert, told CBS News that the AMA's move will "have a tremendous impact on legislation in Washington [and] with insurance companies," as insurance policies now "generally exclude obesity treatment." While Medicare removed language saying obesity is not a disease from its coverage manual in 2004, Medicare Part D will still not pay for weight loss drugs.

But not everyone is thrilled with the AMA's move. Linda Bacon, a nutritionist at the University of California at Davis, said, "the AMA just determined that some people are sick based on how they look. What's next? (Click to read this article) Will they pronounce being black as a disease because there are higher rates of cardiovascular disease in black communities?" Dr. Richard Besser, chief health and medical correspondent for ABC News, meanwhile, downplayed the whole debate: "I think it matters little whether we call obesity a disease, a condition or a disorder. We are already talking about the obesity epidemic. It matters less what we call it than what we do to prevent it."

Blog Topic Question:
Was the American Medical Association right to call obesity a disease or have we simply became obsessed with imagery in the United States so that we believe "oversized" individuals are an embarrassment?

66 comments:

  1. The disease designation for obesity is solely DISCRIMINATION. Back in the Renaissance period, obesity has been a representation of wealth and abundance, which is no more than a TRAIT or a feature that helps identify a person. According to the “unalienable rights”--- mankind has the inherent rights to “Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness”, which no doubt includes the right to consume provision regardless of its quantity---and this unalienable right earns no legitimate reason to be labeled as a disease. Moreover, the problem of over-consumption of foodstuff has NOTHING to do with right and justice. Therefore the issue itself neither requires a forced rectification nor a social tag that would most likely to raise further disputes or even worse---a permanent prejudice.
    Despite the fact that obesity can be considered a condition that affects the body of an organism through “heart disease, diabetes, disability and other potentially life-changing health conditions”, it’s still the decision of individuals to change their obese conditions (As Howell points out in “AMA’s call on obesity as disease sparks furor”: “I have slightly high blood pressure…I perceive myself as a healthy woman,”)---which in turn means, the official body, AMA in this case, possesses NO legal power to make this decision for the public as a whole. And if it does, the resulting consequence is essentially arbitrary authority, even autocracy in a broad sense, due to its long-term effect on the connotations of a word, a group of people, a style of living, etc.
    Obesity is a form of natural selection that ultimately depends upon one’s individual characteristics that are primarily determined in genetics. (Certain physiological conditions make one more frequent to get hungry and need more energy) AMA’s call on obesity as disease not only annihilates this process of natural selection, gives discrimination to various relevant terms and people, it as well boosts medical treatments that adversely consumes one’s personal income (especially those already in a somewhat impoverished condition), and declines the economy within food industry. The forethought infringes materialistic causes as well launches an aggressive influence on some valuable social ideals. It may effectively rescue hundreds of thousands of obese people from relating diseases, but millions of branches of causes it establishes are far more detrimental than pain and death.

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    1. Would you agree that perhaps american's are over exagerating this whole conflict?

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    2. Tinkle-Toes, FYI, you do know that this doesn't count as a comment, correct?

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    3. I like how you pointed out that, in the Renaissance period, obesity was actually thought of as attractive, showing that not everyone actually considered it "bad." However, I'm slightly confused with your claims that AMA is creating an autocracy based off of calling obesity a disease. Linking one group or lifestyle to a word is plain discrimination, and also, the AMA aren't directly controlling what people call obese men and women - it is out of their "jurisdiction," so I don't see the use of comparing the AMA to 1700's Britain or France.

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    4. yes mr. gehm i do realize that

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    5. Carrie, I liked youre point about how back in the renaissance people actually found obesity attractive, but I'm not really sure where you were going when you said that they have no legal power in doing so, theyre only putting an official label on obesity

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    6. Carrie, with all due respect, but obesity is a disease. People's bodies who are excessively overweight do not function as the body with a normal weight indicted by the body mass index (bmi) chart would say so. Yes, i agree with you that hundreds of years ago people who were "fat" were considered wealthy since more money generally did mean more food. But then again, how could we even know what a fat person during the 1400's for example looked like? A "fat" person then might have had the weight of an average 32 year old male today. Besides the term "overweight" is generally considered to be submissive, especially in the society we live in today where the trends in anorexic people is doing nothing but rising. I believe that obesity is a disease since it causes life expectancy to decrease and allows for other diseases to further damage the body.

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    7. Carrie,
      Although I do agree that you have the right to consume however much you want, obesity should still be classified as a disease. It was interesting how you compared this topic to the Renaissance period but evidently times are different now. Obesity is spreading like an epidemic and classifying it as a disease would only benefit those suffering because of the increased support they are getting to get rid of the disease. The people suffering would even get financial aid because insurers have to classify obesity as a disease in their books. You also stated that genetics affect if one may become obese, but wouldn't you also agree that genetics affect if one will get a disease? The similarities between a disease and obesity should allow obesity to be considered a disease.

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  2. A disease is a disorder if structure or function of a human which results in specific symptoms that do not have to necessarily result in a physical injury. Now, if we look at obesity, it indeed results in specific symptoms they are harmful for your body and need to be treated. The AMA labeling obesity as a disease does NOT mean discrimination. There main goal is to lower the percentage of obesity in Americans by spreading awareness. The tweet “#IAmNotADisease” is also false. The AMA is not labeling the actual person of being a disease, they are just attempting to increase awareness and decrease the obesity rate.
    In addition, over exaggeration is resulting in more problems. It is obvious the AMA’s mere goal is to PREVENT obesity from spreading. This is a benefit for 35% of Americans who are currently obese.
    Also I disagree with Bacon, the author or Health at Every Size’s statement “definition of obesity — basically how one’s weight-to-height ratio stacks up on a BMI chart — is imprecise and defines only size, not health. “ this “height-to-weight” ratio DEFINITELY has an impact on your health. Considering the symptoms of this “increase of this ratio” which are breathlessness, fatigue, snoring etc. proves that our health is indeed affected. The main goal of the AMA is to make Americans attentive of this issue while solving it at the same time.

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    1. Sometimes it would be too bias to define something by its definition only. Such that in this case, the symptoms of obesity can fit the definition of disease to some degree, but it does not mean the concept has to be accepted for it would provide a broad benefit for the society. As you point out, the attempt "to increase awareness and decrease the obesity rate" can actually be implemented through approaches other than labeling it as "disease". It can be advertised with attractive slogans and pictures, which are kept as an advice to the public, rather than something radical and extreme. Also, is it really obvious that AMA's action can prevent obesity from spreading? Many people who have this problem may not afford the cost for medical treatments. Or another possibility---some people may not have the ability to lose weight due to genetic family history...Is it a benefit? Or is it simply aimed to increase social panic and discontent? (A rebuttal w/ my full respect:)

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    2. KUMBAYA!!....Carrie.....KUMBAYA!!! :)

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    3. "A rebuttal w/ my full respect" - ain't that just sweet!!! :)

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    4. Nice post Iqra, however, as you put, a disease is a disorder that results in symptoms that bring harm to us. Under most circumstances, obesity isn't something that happens due to something that goes wrong in our bodies - fat buildup is just our bodies' normal way of storing calories from the food we eat. Obesity can cause severe health problems, but it isn't technically abnormal for our bodies to do this, so in my opinion, obesity isn't a disease.

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    5. ok guys I'm done with this whole "KUMBAYA" Honestly I think americans are over exaggerating this situation. First off, Carrie you mentioned that instead of obesity being named a disease, it could be "advertised" for awareness. Obesity should not be taken as lightly as you seem to describe. it. With it being put under the category of a disease people have obviously already become more aware than they were before. If it was advertised the awareness would not be as high as it currently is.

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    6. Next, Brandon, you stated " fat buildup is just our bodies' normal way of storing calories from the food we eat." The imbalance of fat buildup and a lack of energy most often causes overweight and obesity. We are responsible for keeping this level balanced. Therefore we are ultimately responsible for the cause of obesity in most cases.

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    7. also Carrie to answer "some people may not have the ability to lose weight due to genetic family history...Is it a benefit? Or is it simply aimed to increase social panic and discontent?"
      Do you realize there are genetic diseases?? Therefore, obesity CAN be out under the category of a disease.
      And the aim of the AMA is not for "social pain and discontent". There main goal is to resole the main issue of obesity. In fact, there are studies being done according to the researchers at the Univerity of Florida in which theses genes are being used in order to solve the issue.

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    8. Iqra, i totally agree with you that calling someone's obesity a health disorder instead of categorizing it as discrimination. If you are told that you have a disease, then know that help and treatment will be offered to you. If a person is discriminated, it is almost as if they are being frowned upon for being fat, which in reality, that is not the case.

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    9. Iqra,
      I do agree that classifying obesity as a disease is not discrimination, but rather a signal to help raise awareness. This is important to understand because the main argument against the labeling of obesity as a disease is the fact that it might unfairly discriminate. You should have probably elaborated more throughout this post as well because although you did stated facts, you did not go in as much depth as should have been done.

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    10. Iqra, obesity is not a genetic disease. Certainly, there are genes that give predisposition; however, researchers have proven that an active lifestyle affects a person's fat index more than these genes do. (Before you ask, these researchers are from the Medical Research Council's Epidemiology Unit of Cambridge University; they analyzed over 20,000 people while taking note of the 12 gene markers that increase predisposition towards obesity). There are also genetic diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Cohen syndrome, in which obesity is the result (accompanied by mental retardation, infertility, and many other problems).

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  3. The Oxford English Dictionary defines disease as "a disorder in a human, animal, or plant, caused by infection, diet, or by faulty functioning of a process." By that definition, obesity would be a disease, right? Based off of this definition, you can see how obesity is NOT a disease. For evidence, look no further than the first two words in the quote: a disorder. Fat buildup is not in any way, shape, or form, a disorder. In fact, it is a completely natural process that our bodies go through. When we eat food, you take in calories. When you do any sort of exercise at all, you burn a number of calories off. When you burn less calories than you consume, our bodies store the excess calories as - you guessed it - FAT! So, obesity isn't a disease, but on the contrary is in a way a sign that our bodies at least can store calories correctly. However, some people may say that obesity that results from a glandular problem or the like is a disease. For anyone who may think this, let me point out that the disease isn't obesity, but the actual glandular problem that causes it (and technically, a glandular problem isn't necessarily a disease in the first place.) Some people become obese because of psychological problems, such as binge eating, stress, or depression; however, again, the obesity itself isn't the problem, as is the actual psychological disorder. The same goes for the medical conditions that obesity causes, such as cardiovascular disease; heart disease is a disease caused by obesity, and of the two, in my opinion, it's the only one of the two that can actually be qualified as a disease.

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    1. Brandon, you stated, "....By that definition, obesity would be a disease, right? Based off of this definition, you can see how obesity is NOT a disease. For evidence, look no further than the first two words in the quote: a disorder." ("by that definition" refers to the Oxford definition you provided). Aren't you technically contradicting yourself? You state that by the definition, obesity WOULD be a disease and then immediately state, "Based off this definition...obesity is NOT a disease." That in of itself is a contradiction. Yet you go one step further by trying to define the contradiction by using a portion of the definition (the "first two words") - "a disorder." I don't think using the actual word "disorder" wins your argument. You can't use the actual word that you are defining as part of the definition, that would make no sense. In other words, Oxford couldn't define "disease" as "...a DISEASE in a human, animal, or plant..." I just feel that using this as the foundation of your argument is not very effective.

      I think you'd agree that cancer is a disease, correct? Well, isn't cancer a "disorder" of the human cells proper function? (ok, I'm not a doctor, so that may not be the proper technical way of explaining what cancer is, but clearly it is a disorder within the cell(s)).

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    2. Oh, seems that I forgot to fix that part. That was actually left over from what I was originally going to go on. Consider this as my improved intro after the quote.
      "Judging by the fact that it is a DISORDER, and therefore something that happens directly as a result of a malfunction in our bodies, the category of disease does not include obesity."

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    3. Yes psychological problems! This adds on to why medical treatments would not fully cure the obesity issues. Although I guess there might as well be medicines for these psychological disorders, but many time they're just integrated into a daily routine, or a habit that's being accustomed to. Therefore issuing this designation to obesity as disease would most likely enhance the psychological problems.

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    4. Guys, I fixed my intro, based off of Lord Gehm's comment. Forget the part between the quote from the Oxford Dictionary and "Based off of this definition...," because the intro in my comment on Mr. Gehm's post is better.

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    5. Kumbaya, Brandon, Kumbaya... You make it just too easy to defeat you in a debate.

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    6. Brandon, you kind of contradicted yourself one sentence after another, you said "by that definition obesity would be a disease" and then in the sentence after you stated "based off this definition you can see that obesity is not a disease"...

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    7. Brandon,
      I do have to agree with Lord Gehm on this one because your statements are contradictory. You talk about how fat build up is a disorder and not a disease, when you originally stated that a disorder is a disease. I do have to agree that obesity can sometimes be caused by psychological effects like depression, but would you agree that obesity not caused by stress, depression etc, would be considered a disease? In my post, I talked about how outside factors like that could affect obesity as well. However, diseases also are multifaceted as well as obesity.

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    8. Brandon, you mentioned what obesity is and how it occurs in the first place. You constantly brought up the fact that obesity was just fat buildup in a person's body, which is true. However, this statement does not mean that obesity isn't considered a disease. In your point above, you only explain how obesity happens, and not why obesity wouldn't be a disease.For example, cardiovascular disease is caused by high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc. Similarly, obesity is caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise. Stating what causes obesity doesn't mean that obesity isn't a diet.

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    9. [insert image of me scratching my head...yes, my bald head]..... Fey-Fey, what do you mean "Stating what causes obesity doesn't mean that obesity isn't a DIET?" (I capitalized the word "diet" for emphasis)

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    10. I found your post to be filled with contradictions and focused on things of little importance. If you had read the introduction to the question, you would have seen that obesity has been classified as a disease only this month, so it seems to be a stretch to use the Oxford dictionary's choice of the word "disorder" as an argument against obesity not being a disease, as they probably didn't update the word's meaning this month. (If you can prove me otherwise, I stand corrected). As with the others, I agree with the fact that with you stating a "disorder is a disease" that you argument contradicts your belief and the focus of your post.

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    11. Oh, my bad! I mean't "Stating what causes obesity doesn't mean that obesity isn't a disease!" What I meant is that although obesity is caused by many things, such as a poor diet, doesn't mean that obesity isn't a disease. I'm sorry about my typo!

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    12. I agree with you Brandon when you say that it's pretty much fat building up in your body. People can chose to live that way and dont have to change who they are because society tells you too. people are not looking at the big picture, and noticing that obesity itself is not a disease, however it may LEAD to disease that can be life threatening as it gets worse and worse. However when you think on the basis that obesity- (or not being able to handle your own body weight-being too overweight) is a disease, you are basically stating that something must be done in order to 'fix' them, which shouldn't be the case, especially in America.

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    13. You state the definition of a disease. Next, you noticed that the definition has the word 'disorder' in it. But what you call it shouldn't affect a person significantly. Whatever you call it, Obesity is still a growing issue.

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  4. Let me begin by posing the question, how is obesity NOT a disease?
    When one is obese, their whole lives are transformed. To begin with, as an obese person, your life expectancy decreases greatly. This is due to the fact that your heart will be surrounded by extra layers of unnecessary fat, making it harder to pump blood around the body. On top of this, since the body's mass has increased drastically when compared to the average human being, the heart will have to pump faster and harder in order to oxygenate the rest of the organs in time. Since the heart was not designed to function this way, it may very well result in cardiac arrest, which is preventable.
    Another issue in regards to the heart will be the fact that since the body is overly composed in fat, there is a superfluous amount of cholesterol which begin to build up in your arteries. The blood flow in these important valves in your body, will slow down and eventually be clogged.
    Next, a disease impairs you from performing something. When you are obese, do you know how many things your body physically cannot do? How about mentally, due to the fact that your current body image is destroying your self esteem? When you are obese, everything inside of you is thrown off balance. Hormones, for instance, will unregulated. For example, in your stomach the hormones leptin and ghrelin send messages to your brain notifying it when it is hungry or when it is full. As a result of these hormones being thrown off course, the function for them will be useless since they information the brain is depending on, is unreliable!

    Moreover, obesity opens the door for other illnesses, one of them infamously being diabetes. When your body is over weight, it becomes resistant to sugar since it already is receiving an abused amount already. Cells become resistant, immune to the sugar your body is naturally feeding them in order to function. When this occurs, as a diabetic, you most likely will need to begin to take higher amounts of insulin in order to replenish the sucrose that the cells begin to lack in. This is just one example of a disease you can get from being over weight.
    Furthermore, one may argue that diseases have symptoms. Is an excess in fat not the most prevalent one in this case? Internally, the body, as mentioned before, begins to produce irregular amounts of hormones, which causes havoc on the molecular level. A simple blood test can help determine the difference between being fat an obese.
    Another thing that you should keep in mind when deciding if it is a disease or not, is the fact that obesity has been found to be in you genetic composition. In other words, if your family has a history of overweight people, then most likely you were born with it and you are not fat because you are lazy, but if not, you are overweight because your body was designed to be overweight. In nature, being overweight is an anomaly. Therefore, if it has become inscribed in your genome, then there is a serious issue, especially because it is hindering, not helping your human abilities.

    In the end, naming obesity to be a disease is not simply a term to excuse the general population, if not it is a real illness just as cancer and Parkinson's is. Please eat healthy and exercise so you do not contract this life threatening disease.

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    1. Iamka, I certainly revere the way you present the scientific data regarding different symptoms or disadvantages that obesity brings forth. Yet the society and the people themselves are not all about these physiological aspects, despite the fact that how your body functions would no doubt largely affect your way of living. There are other faces to the issue...people that are simply appearing to be "oversized" who indeed have normal health indicators would inexplicably be labeled as the "sick". This reminds me of a familiar analogy---the Salem Witch Hunt---it oftentimes directly gives the obese people a first impression as the ones with "disease" while lacking actual evidence. Although it can be later testified if necessary but that would only happen upon the fact that the obese people are already being bullied to an extent or just being unfairly treated. The somewhat random and baseless designation would very likely grow into a social hysteria just like the Witch Hunt, and the only way out might be to "confess" or loss weight...you might say this is exactly the beneficial result aimed at these obese people, but psychological shadows and anxiety can never be erased.

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    2. I have to agree with Carrie. You mentioned that obese people often have lower self-esteem due to their large body. Will not labeling them as 'diseased' just further destroy their confidence further? It's been mentioned somewhere in this blog that the only way obesity is measured by BMI, one's height to weight ratio. It is this highly flawed method that becomes a critical problem in disease naming. As Carrie pointed out, there are many people who look 'oversized,' yet they possess good health; some, in fact, are better health-wise than many thinner individuals. This is because BMI does not account for the mass that muscles have vs. the amount of fat actually present in the body.

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  5. Good post Iamka, but I have one point about your post. You talked about how unnecessary layers of fat makes it harder to pump blood to and from your heart, leading to complications. Is this really a disease, because it is only natural for your body to build up fat. Again, the diseases that obesity causes don't necessarily mark obesity as a disease, because technically nothing is actually wrong in the first place. The only times when obesity comes from a disorder is due to a glandular problem, or some sort of psychological disorder, and those are the only conditions that can be labeled as a "disease."

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    1. The fact that obesity "opens the door for other illnesses" ultimately makes it a disease. Just like any other disease, with obesity we must be more aware and regulate our intake. Also, Iamka i have to point out your ending "Please eat healthy and exercise so you do not contract this life threatening disease." just makes your argument complete. It is obvious the AMA's decision was done in BENEFIT for the people. This was done to resolve the problem not cause arguments to arise. OVER EXAGGERATION ........thats how i describe their reactions.

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  6. Obesity could be defined as the excessive build up of body fat. As we have seen in recent years, it has really began to spread in the United States. Obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and healthcare funding for fighting obesity has totaled $117 billion dollars which surpasses that of drinking or smoking related funding. This is major considering the amount of money and effort put into fighting obesity, so why isn't obesity considered a disease? Since a disease is a medical condition that affects body organs, it only makes sense that obesity be considered a disease because by the very definition obesity affects body organs.There are between 100,000- 400,000 deaths per year in the US, related to obesity. Since there are deaths associated with this condition and it affects body organs, it fits the very definition of a disease. There are nearly 100 million people that are obese today and classifying obesity as a disease could actually help that number go down. If it were a disease, people would think of being obese harsher than previously thought of because a disease has the connotations of being "bad", which would cause more people to take action against it. Many people right now are taking obesity too lightly and it will help them in the future if they take action soon. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, obesity has complex roots that are either environmental, socioeconomic, cultural or biological, which means it is multifaceted disease. Since there is diversity between cases of obesity, and because it is multifaceted, it is also once again similar to a disease as a disease is also affected by these factors. Although it was tried, healthy eating movements for children hasn't had very major impacts, and classifying obesity as a disease could energize the healthy eating lifestyles once again. The effort might have more success than before if obesity is a disease rather than if it were not considered anything. Furthermore, more money could be allotted by insurers for treatment of obesity if it were a disease and since most people who are obese statistically come from lower income families, the extra money could be the money that could help cure their obesity issues.

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    1. Vinit, very good points, especially when addressing the economic and social aspects when considering obesity to be a disease. I very much agree with you when you stated that extra money would be given in order to combat the new disease. I pictured foundations like the Susan G Koeman one being set up and receiving major support since so many people are affected by obesity.

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    2. You use of a mortaltiy rate and the amount of money spent on obesity treatement was a great way to begin this blog, the cold facts were a good way to kick off your point

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    3. The statistics you presented make it obvious that obesity is a major issue and a step needs to be taken in order to resolve this situation as zoos as possible. also, you mentioned "Many people right now are taking obesity too lightly and it will help them in the future if they take action soon." this is the core reason for obesity being listed as a disease. Awareness is already showing an immense increase.

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    4. AMA's decision was for a great and noble cause. However, disease labeling will not do much in reality. In fact, it actually worsens conditions. People would most likely either get more depressed since it is easy to buy into the idea that one is powerless against a disease (you have to admit that even getting a relatively mild case of the flu does sometimes make you feel powerless; how much more powerless will one feel if weight is to be "medicalized"), or they will use it as an excuse for their horrible lifestyle choices.

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    5. It is unfortunate how much is wasted from our own greed and gluttony. I do believe labeling obesity will give people an idea of how harsh it is, but for others who have it could be used as an excuse. Most people with disease has to let their immune system do it's job. With obesity, it needs more a physical approach of exercise. Even if it wasn't a disease you would still have different interpretations not all will be the same.

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    6. I found your post to be quite informative. The statistics you have provided greatly helped your argument, and the addition of the point of the amount of money that is going toward stopping obesity makes your argument have a interesting economic viewpoint.

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  7. AMA's decision to categorize obesity as a disease is a terrible move on their part.
    First of all, there is currently only one way to tell if a person is obese: the Body Mass Index. BMI, developed in the 1800s as a crude research/survey tool, simply measures one's weight against one's height; it measures not fat index but one's size. The flaw of using this method easily shows. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, is obese according to BMI charts (he got a 30.8) but his body is ripped with muscles, not fat. Thus, one can potentially be misdiagnosed.

    AMA's decision also intensifies reliance on weight loss drugs and surgical treatments, many of whom possess adverse side effects that just worsen a person's health. This further alienates other obese individuals because it emphasizes an obsession in getting the 'right weight' instead of prioritizing healthier eating and more physical activity. Of course, many will no doubt use this new categorization as an excuse, choosing to blame this abstract idea instead of their poor lifestyles.

    Obesity is, in reality, the birth child of a complicated affair between genetics and poor lifestyle choice. It is a risk factor of countless diseases from most, if not all, major fields of medicine. In rare cases, it can even be the result or side effect of disorders such as the Prader-Willi syndrome and the Cohen syndrome. It is not, however, a disease in itself.

    Besides, a change in category still won't solve much. Many will still lead sedentary lifestyles. Food companies will still make products laden with sugar, trans fats, etc. And because it's much cheaper to get these products than it is to get healthy vegetables and fruits, a good majority, especially those on a tight budget, will still eat these products.

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    1. Aside from the BMI, there are other ways to tell if one is obese such as showing it symptoms, high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes. Though I do believe obesity is a disease I don't believe it can be held to the same standards as other lethal diseases. The reason, it's curable by running on a treadmill or simply going for a walk through the park. People with other diseases don't have that type of privilege.

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  8. Obesity can be considered a disease but, is it legitimate to say that it's not our fault for it happening? Diseases specifically attack the body of an organism which can technically we can consider obesity as a disease since it does attack our whole body. However, the main problem is the causes of obesity. Why should just should out disease when the prevention of obesity is very simple, BE HEALTHY! I personally have asthma, the causes of it are at times allergies, secondhand-smoke, or even having weak lungs. Comparing that to obesity which is triggered by no healthy activities (even simple ones like walking would do) and the excessive amount of eating. I do believe people with obesity hide behind the title of "disease" but it only extends so far. It is possible to fix obesity. People with Lyme disease have no cure or solution and would strive every day for one. Compared to other diseases obesity is a very weak one.

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    1. It is normal for anyone to gain fat because our bodies are programmed to convert excess intake into reserves in case of hard times. Obesity happens when this conversion keeps happening everyday. Technically, obesity does not attack our body like a bacteria or a parasite would. All obesity does is increase the risk of getting diseases such as strokes or congestive heart failure; therefore, obesity is a risk factor.

      I do like how you said that people with obesity would "hide behind the title of 'disease.'" They conveniently forget their poor lifestyles, placing blame instead on the title.

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    2. While I agree with your views, I do not think you have done a very good job of providing facts to your post. Getting a cold attacks one's body, but it is clearly shown to not be a disease. And your claim that the only way to "get rid of obesity" is "very simple, BE HEALTHY!", this has clearly been shown to not be the case. Beating obesity is a tough challenge that does in fact require some "healthy living" but is defeated through an arduous and difficult process of taking many vitamin and weight-loss supplements. The amount of suffering a person with morbid obesity has, while is not as bad a the suffering of one who has Lyme disease, is still greater than most people can understand, so calling obesity, and any other disease "weak" should be heavily frowned upon.

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    3. Dylan, since you are stating that the way to fix obesity is to just be healthy, and eat right, then why does it need the title of being a disease, when it's really something that doesn't really need a cure in my eyes. It's just a matter of working toward certain goals to get the end result, which is a fit and healthy body that will let you live a longer and happier life.

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  9. Obesity is a disease and should be treated as one. According to Marriam-Webster, a disease is a "condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally". If one follows that definition, it is clear to see how obesity should be classified as a disease. Obesity is crippling to quality of life, movement, and raises the chances of one getting another, potentially worse disease. Some say that obesity is caused by genetic factors; however this is simply not true for most cases. According to a study done in 2012, only six percent of morbidly obese people have their condition due to genetic factors, quite a small number considering the sample size. Classifying obesity as a disease is not the same as classifying someone "black" because obesity, unlike being black, is clearly shown to give people lack of mobility, endurance, and quality of life suffers. The classification of obesity as a disease should be applauded because there would now be the scrutiny of obesity in the same light as cancer. While they are not the same thing, Making obesity a disease will raise awareness and will lower denial rates of obese people who reassure themselves that they are fine under the thought of it being a "condition", a word whose connotation is not nearly as devastating as the word "disease." Health care plans should be available for the treatment of obesity, but the most critical way to cut down on the percentage of people having this disease is to raise awareness about eating healthy and staying active.

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    1. When you say that obesity can lead to a disease itself you are correct, however obesity itself, is something that it a little more broad and can go over the ranges, that some cases if obesity may not be so serious. People have lived all there lives being obese and have lived fine lives. It isn't about their health in this case anymore, it's whether they want this, and whether it is an important aspect in their life to the point where they need help. Guidance in the right direction is not a special pill that is taken in order to cure the so called 'disease', it's something that is a choice and doesn't have to be made. Therefore, when you say that it is a disease, do people really need to be cured from obesity, or do people in America say love yourself for who you are and not what society wants you to be?

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    2. Pranav, I absolutely agree with your point on how obesity may eventually lead to other major diseases around today. Although many may not want to classify obesity as a disease, one must admit that obesity can and will lead to a bigger disease if not taken care of. Diseases it may lead to are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and even some types of cancers. Why should we not classify obesity as a disease? Obesity is causing harm to our nation. More lives will be saved while preventing obesity.

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    3. you say obesity is a disease when in fact its based off of something else.its off of eating disorders, getting the perfect body image, and overall depression. if you take those away, you very less obese people in the world

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  10. Dr. Richard Besser, chief health and medical correspondent for ABC News says, "I think it matters LITTLE whether we call obesity a disease, a condition or a disorder. We are already talking about the obesity epidemic. It matters less what we call it than what we do to prevent it." This is PRECISELY correct. Multiple definitions of the word ‘disease’ itself contains the word or words ‘disorder’ and “condition.” For example, Obesity could be considered an eating disorder; According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s page on Obesity, ‘ The term "eating DISORDER" means a group of medical CONDITIONS that have an unhealthy focus on eating, dieting, losing or gaining weight, and body image.’ Therefore, the havoc of the general public is trivial as these three names are somewhat equivalent to each other. The AMA has the right to call obesity any of these names as it isn’t as significant as the process of prevention. Calling Obesity a disease isn’t intended to make people embarrassed, but instead to create awareness and emphasize necessary precautions and dieting that should be obeyed to avoid further symptoms. “It adds legitimacy to the problem, will help raise public awareness and will get doctors engaged in treating the condition.”

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    1. Your approach seems very enthusiastic who cares if its a disease we still need to fix it! This issue can be easily fixed by one's own true motive. The problem is they lack that confidence or self-esteem with in them. By raising awareness it keeps people away from those types of struggles.

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    2. i agree with dylan, no matter what you want to call it, a disease, disorder, and condition, it is still a major problem within the USA. but i believe that these people are depressed, and they cover depression with food leading to eating disorders, and in turn they would never get the body image that they want, so the get even more depressed. creating the never end cycle of depression, creating and making obesity a bigger problem than it really is.

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  11. Obesity has always been a HUGE problem in America, and that was the one thing that they have had trouble with even after all these diet programs and exercise activities that have tried to encourage people to lose weight. In the effort towards healthier bodies, America was willing to put a foot forward in order to lead our country in the right direction to not be insecure about our bodies. Now many people may react as if this is a way of helping people and getting the word out that it is okay to make a change. That may be the case, however, that is your choice whether you might want to take part in these diet programs or not. Some people may want a change to not be overweight, however others are comfortable in their bodies and wouldn't change a thing. That is their choice and the government should not be an aspect in their decision.
    Claiming that now obesity is a disease just proclaims that everyone that is obese has to change because they are under the concept that they are 'sick' and need 'help', when some people are fine with the way they look. No one should tell you to lose weight in order to fit in with society. America was built for all people no matter their figure, color, race or ethnicity. Telling someone that they have to change their body in order feel better is like telling a black person they have to change their color in order to fit in. You are basically helping people that don't want to be helped in order to fit society's perfect world. Establishing obesity as a disease is a disgrace to the country, for now accepting everyone into the once called 'melting pot' of the world that we call America.

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    1. You make the point that "No one should tell you to loose weight in order to fit in with society." However this is invalid because 35% of Society is already obese so fitting in wouldn't really be a problem. Also, naming Obesity as a disease does not force someone to try and "fit in" but rather to increase awareness and motivate people to be healthy.

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    2. i agree with nirali because most of america is obese, and to fit in wouldn't be that hard to accomplish

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  12. In the dictionary disease is described as "a disorder of structure and function in a human that produces specific signs or symptomsor that effects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury". This clearly describes many of the attributes allocated to obesity.

    The disorder is the excess fat and there are many signs and specific symptons that show the condition to be unhealthy. Difficulty sleeping can be a sign of obesity, the body is under stress which makes it more difficult for it to relax. Then a lack of sleep on its own can lead to a variety of other problems. An inability to cope with sudden physical activity is another sign, it shows weakened muscles from under use, this obviously is unpractical.

    Obesity is also a key unlocking a door into a world of new problems such as diabetes, heart diseases and strokes! This is one of the reasons why life expectancy of an obese person can be, and is often, as high as fifteen years younger than the average.

    Forget about the physical downsides for a minute and think of the many psychological ones that can accompany obesity. In many cases obesity can go hand in hand with low self-esteem, low levels of confidence and a feeling of isolation within society.

    In The United States today 36% of all adults are obese, this is a staggering amount and is second only to mexico with 41%. This means that over one third of U.S adults are over the healthy weight limit.

    All of the previous, signs, symptoms and statistics clearly show that obesity is indeed a disease, every aspect of obesity lines up with the dictionary defintion of the word disease. Obesity is a disease and whoever thinks is simply being foolish.


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    1. You talk about the psychological affects of being obese. I would just like to add on by saying that calling Obesity a disease isn’t intended to make people embarrassed, but instead to create awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle which, if lived by, would be a satisfying moment for obese individuals.

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  13. Like alcoholism, depression, and anxiety, obesity is a disease. People that suffer from obesity do have medical problems. They have hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter deficiencies and nutritional problems that all contribute to obesity. Although it is able to be prevented, it is still a disease. Just like cardiovascular disease, which is caused by alcohol, smoking, poor diet, etc., obesity has its causes as well. Although these actions that result in obesity can be prevented, obesity can still be classified as a disease. Many diseases around today can be prevented, but people still classify them as diseases day to day. What makes obesity any different?
    Obesity affects a large group of people, and harms people all the time. Many obese people even pass from being too obese. People with obesity suffer from issues similar to those with other diseases. Dr. Taz, a medical director at the Atlanta Center for Holistic & Integrative Medicine, stated that most of his obese patients have "underlying medical issues that need to be addressed."
    Some cases of obesity even require medical attention and treatment, like many other diseases around today. The treatments offered for obesity can be costly and they are insurance worthy to many people. Just like chemotherapy with cancer, people struggle to overcome their battle with obesity by undertaking many steps towards a healthier life style.
    Although obesity may not be as extreme as other diseases around today, it should still be classified as a disease. A disease is defined as any impairment of normal physiological function affecting all or part of an organism, esp a specific pathological change caused by infection, stress, etc, producing characteristic symptoms; illness or sickness in general. Usually, obesity is caused by stress and it can impact a person's life greatly. Many people have trouble doing normal activities because of their struggle with obesity. To add onto it being its own disease, obesity can lead to other major diseases as well. These diseases include high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and even some cancers. So, although it may not be considered an actual disease to many people, obesity usually leads to major diseases around today.
    Overall, obesity may not be a huge problem in today's society, but it still is a problem. If obesity isn't prevented today, it may eventually blow out of proportion. A disease is something society needs to control, prevent and attempt to take care of. Obesity is one of these things.

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  14. i believe that obesity in our world today is based from popular imagery. in todays world all we see are movie stars and modles, trying to obtain the "perfect body" that we desire. such as movie stars, underwear models, beer models, ect. and because of this, people do as much as they can to get this "perfect body" image. so they get plastic surgery, as they see the movie stars do. it might be out of there price range but they do it, causing them o lose almost all there money on surgery. and when they don't get there "perfect body" image from the surgery, form losing all their money, from not even being able to obtain the money, from being to last to do anything, they get depressed. to try and rid of their depression, they waste more money on pills, and those pills increase weight gain, or they just eat, and create eating disorders. that and people being extremely lazy are what's causing obesity, its not a medical condition

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