Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

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Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby IndianaBoy » 20 June 2013, 14:55

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A Facebook friend posted this article and was outraged. Her caption read,
A disease?!?! Like seriously?!?!? Who the hell do these people think they are?!?!?


I responded with,
The article states, "In fact, obesity has been linked to almost every chronic disease in some way or another."

If declaring obesity as a disease will increase the monetary and educational support for the efforts of combating obesity, then perhaps it should be declared as such.

Think of it like this: alcohol and tobacco are frowned upon in today's society. Why, you might ask? Alcohol can cause many complication's with one's health, leading to severe damage or death. Tobacco has the same result(s). Obesity increases the risk of health complications just as alcohol increases the risk of liver disease and tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer. If it's becoming a serious issue, equally serious action should be taken.

Declaring obesity as a disease will possibly then allow, as the article states, "...payment for doctors who want to simply talk to patients about nutrition or exercise -- time that's not currently reimbursed by insurance plans."

As offensive as this declaration will be to "30 percent of American adults," it will cause more help than it will do the American people harm.


To which she said,
I still don't like being told I have a disease. && it doesn't make me want to change, it makes me want to punch these people in the face. I got bullied enough for being fat by people who know me, I don't need someone who doesn't telling me I have a disease. I mean I have enough problems shopping because clothes that are in style don't fit me, I get laughed at when I have food in my hand because "hey fat girl is always eating", people stare and make rude comments, and now they are going to label it as a disease. It just pisses me off. && I don't need some doctor telling me I'm fat and talking to me about nutrition crap, I don't like healthy food and I don't have time to exercise so I'm ok with being fat, if I wasn't I would do something about it. I don't need an everyday reminder.

I ended the discussion with,
I can understand that. The unfortunate part of their job is the fact that they don't think in terms of empathy. They are paid to simply produce solutions. I just think that if an addiction to pornography is accepted by our society as a disease, many other mental and physical difficulties should probably be considered as such, especially when these conditions threaten lives.

On the flip side to your argument, there are many individuals who aren't comfortable with their weight - from anorexia to obesity, statistically, the majority of these individuals would like to change their appearance. Doing so often requires lifestyle changes, doctor visits, etc. This declaration will allow these people the chance they've been hoping for. If obesity can be covered by insurance, it could potentially change lives, and, by doing so, save lives.

While it may be offensive to many, it's for the greater good. To be perfectly honest, when it comes to the lives and health of our population, of which obesity is a very large contributor to numerous health complications, having our feelings and/or pride hurt is completely irrelevant.


I'm on track for a B.S. in Health and Human Performance, and would love to achieve a degree in Nutrition, as well. Topics regarding our overall health, specifically that of nutrition, wellness, and exercise / fitness, often evoke a sort of passion from me.

I firmly stand by declaring this as a disease. I am in now way, shape, or form attempting to offend anyone. Obesity is an incredible hazard for the individual's health. It's a life-threatening condition.

In my opinion, when it comes down to the safety, health, general well-being, and life of an individual, feelings and pride are absolutely irrelevant. This is no longer a situation where society is telling us that we should look a specific way; our vital organs are demanding that we take care of ourselves.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Was I harsh?
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Wallace » 20 June 2013, 15:29

You were definitely not harsh. I mean anorexia is considered a disease, so I don't see how excessive eating can't be seen under the same light as lack of thereof. And I don't see why diseases should be seen as something offensive because it affect people's lives and they need to know that they need to change their lifestyle in order to prevent negative causes to their health state.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby IndianaBoy » 20 June 2013, 16:03

I agree. If it's something that hazardous, something that is "linked to almost every chronic disease in some way or another," then our personal feelings and pride need to be pushed aside. I guess I don't understand how someone could genuinely not care about their health.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Josiemonster » 20 June 2013, 16:28

Does
'Linked to almost every chronic disease in some way"
mean that a chronic disease causes obesity or obesity causes chronic diseases?

My opinion depends on what that means.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Alucard_117 » 20 June 2013, 16:51

I know this is almost impossible to diagnose separately but I think that there are only some kinds of obesity that should be a disease. If the obesity is caused by something similar to what causes anorexia, that's one thing, but if someone is fat just cause they can't put down the fork, that's another thing entirely. However I do think that there are several cases that should be considered a disease situation. If you can't control your eating for whatever reason, and you've given it your all to try and lose the weight and you just can't because you can't stop eating, then yeah it's a disease.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby IndianaBoy » 20 June 2013, 18:42

Josiemonster wrote:Does
'Linked to almost every chronic disease in some way"
mean that a chronic disease causes obesity or obesity causes chronic diseases?

My opinion depends on what that means.


Obesity increases the likelihood that an individual will develop chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.

Neither cause the other, but obesity greatly increases the risk.

For example: heart disease. The greater your weight, the more strain you put on your heart. Your heart is pumping blood throughout your entire body. The larger the body, the harder the heart must work. An obese individual has more fat molecules, such as cholesterol, which leads to high blood pressure. Heart-failure can happen when fat is clogging a blood vessel or when an individual goes into cardiac arrest, which most commonly occurs when the heart has been overworked.

Obesity also affects the body's ability to produce insulin, increasing the chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.

An individual who is obese alone increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes via the many cardiovascular risks the body is forced to endure.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Lucas » 20 June 2013, 20:25

Quite an apt analysis my good sir. Your position and approach are correct. AWWWW YEAHHHHH
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby BroadwayBaby » 21 June 2013, 00:57

I believe that sometimes obesity is the result of a disease, but sometimes it isn't, and we can't classify it as a whole as a disease.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby David3000 » 21 June 2013, 00:59

delete
Last edited by David3000 on 4 September 2015, 21:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby LuciusMalfoy » 21 June 2013, 09:48

lol what the hell, why does this person act like being told you have a disease is insulting?

If anything I would have assumed it would have gotten flack for sounding like an excuse for fat people. I didn't think fat people would have a problem with it. Newsflash, overeating and obesity makes you ill over time, and has, and we've known this. I mean, its just a label, c'mon! A doctor is probably going to recommended eating healthier even if it wasn't labeled a disease, and they have been doing so, for years and years. If you want to overeat, go ahead, no ones stopping you, lol. Some people, sheesh.

As a fat person myself, I think she's ridiculous, and as for the disease label, I think it fits. Both mentally and physically. Mentally, I hate myself for being the way I am, I despise my body more than I can say but I have this thing in my brain that always ends up reverting to eating. I am just horrible with committing to losing weight and I don't always do it consciously but I am your typical person who uses food for therapy. It's an addiction. I feel miserable and go crazy if I try not to eat bad food, especially if the bad food is easily attainable, makes it damn near impossible.

But then again, I'm lazy and to most people its all my fault still and blah blah blah, whatever. I'll maybe actually try to lose weight again soon, we'll see.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Derek » 21 June 2013, 13:02

People tend to shift definitions around in whatever manner they find convenient. Mental disorders and behavioral abnormalities have been rebranded as diseases - which are properly understood as conditions caused by pathogenic agents - because disease does not imply personal responsibility. Setting aside whether this is helpful, it is inaccurate. Your friend was offended because it's supremely condescending.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby BallsOnTheBrain » 21 June 2013, 22:48

If anorexia can be called a disease, why not obesity? Although there is still a difference; anorexic people WANT to be skinny, but I haven't heard of anyone purposefully trying to become obese (save for the guy who did Supersized).

I honestly don't have much of an opinion on this; it's nowhere near as weird as pizza being called a vegetable.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby rxxli » 22 June 2013, 16:47

This is idiotic. Obesity is not a fucking disease. I mean it could be a symptom of overeating (if that was a disease) but it can't be labeled a disease. I think this will bring a more negative effect - people who suffer from obesity will think that they now have a disease and that they are not responsible for it. "I have a disease, cure me!" . Basically this somehow shifts responsibility from the individual with this problem to a "higher force" and that is not a good idea. Especially because getting fit/healthy really isn't so much about working out/eating less it is more of a self-control issue. You need to learn how to control yourself and you need to be aware how only you can change this.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Sherri » 22 June 2013, 18:26

Ehhh. I think you were about as tactful as you could be given your stance as a future health professional.

I see where you're coming from, but I inherently frown at the idea of calling obesity a disease for the same reasons that rxxli stated. Most people who are obese have food addiction problems, and they are lacking the proper self-control to break them. Like the offended girl in the original post, they have no will to change them. They don't want nutrition education. They don't want to be told they have to be personally responsible for being physically active. They want to eat delicious food and go about their lives, and they're sensitive to people who bring any attention to their food addiction problem.

I'm not sure whether opening up insurance coverage for obesity itself by labeling it a disease will be more helpful or harmful. Ideally, we could just open up insurance coverage for it without labeling it a disease.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby 1day » 22 June 2013, 19:31

I think it is more of an eating disorder (the exact opposite of anorexia nervosa in some regards) rather than a straight out disease. I also think it is interesting how our culture plays into obesity (and anorexia for that matter). Why is it that most other Western countries are not facing an obesity epidemic at the same level that we are? If we are going to tackle obesity, it can't just be the way we eat, but the way we live.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Lucas » 22 June 2013, 20:26

dis·ease
[dih-zeez] noun, verb, dis·eased, dis·eas·ing.
noun
1.
a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.
-Dictionary.com

Over eating is not a disease, just like smoking is not a disease. Cancer caused by smoking is a disease, why isn't obesity caused by over eating a disease? Nutritional imbalance sounds like obesity to me. Obesity puts you at increased risk of heart attacks and strokes and puts increased strain on your body. The state of being obese endangers yours health.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 24 June 2013, 06:38

"She went, 'Obesity is a disease.' I said, 'What's the illness?' She went, 'everything tastes good.'" —Ricky Gervais

IndianaBoy wrote:
Think of it like this: alcohol and tobacco are frowned upon in today's society. Why, you might ask? Alcohol can cause many complication's with one's health, leading to severe damage or death. Tobacco has the same result(s). Obesity increases the risk of health complications just as alcohol increases the risk of liver disease and tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer. If it's becoming a serious issue, equally serious action should be taken.

I'm sure promiscuity and lack of condom use contributes to the high rates of gay men with HIV, especially in the 80s, but we (rightfully) don't label sluttiness a disease.

IndianaBoy wrote:
If declaring obesity as a disease will increase the monetary and educational support for the efforts of combating obesity, then perhaps it should be declared as such.

Declaring obesity as a disease will possibly then allow, as the article states, "...payment for doctors who want to simply talk to patients about nutrition or exercise -- time that's not currently reimbursed by insurance plans."

I can see what they're trying to do but I don't think that's a wise policy. Firstly, it's plainly unprofessional, unscientific, and irresponsible to label this a disease simply because you want more attention to this growing problem. No one is arguing that it isn't a problem, just that it isn't a medical condition. Secondly, and closely related to the first point, it runs the risk of taking away a very specific meaning of the word which could potentially make the medical community recklessly approach the issue. We already know the disasters of this in the field of psychiatry. Labeling this a disease could take the focus off individual responsibility toward diet and exercise and place it on surgery and drugs, which medically might not be the healthiest route.

As Sherri pointed out, I think the issue lies in lack of willpower. People become paralyzed by a lack of willpower that ultimately drives them to ruin in all sorts of different areas of their life to which they allow gluttony to control and become (non-medically) addicted: sex, food, internet usage, procrastination, etc. I highly doubt most of these people are this way because of a lack of education, especially those who aren't in denial and have taken steps toward changing but have failed. The AMA has taken it upon itself to put aside medicine and science in the name of social activism. Why not label any major, non-medical problem a disease? This word means something. To dillute it in this way can render the word meaningless and more and more people could find it more a joke than a serious medical term to which we ought to give our undivided attention and immediate action.

IndianaBoy wrote:To which she said,
I still don't like being told I have a disease. && it doesn't make me want to change, it makes me want to punch these people in the face. I got bullied enough for being fat by people who know me, I don't need someone who doesn't telling me I have a disease. I mean I have enough problems shopping because clothes that are in style don't fit me, I get laughed at when I have food in my hand because "hey fat girl is always eating", people stare and make rude comments, and now they are going to label it as a disease. It just pisses me off. && I don't need some doctor telling me I'm fat and talking to me about nutrition crap, I don't like healthy food and I don't have time to exercise so I'm ok with being fat, if I wasn't I would do something about it. I don't need an everyday reminder.


This is just plain fucking stupid. This attitude is the same attitude I have seen with gay and transgender folk and the word "disorder." For unrelated reasons I have stated why I think psychiatry's use of the term is problematic and how arbitrary and unscientific it seems to have been used when applied to homosexuals; however, many rejoiced at its declassification for the wrong reasons. One such reason was because being gay was no longer medically stigmatized. Partially it's psychiatry's fault for using the term "disorder" for anything of which society disapproves and in turn contributing to the word's stigma. But no one should be rejoicing at such declassifications because of that. I'm sure people suffering from schizophrenia and austism are equally stigmatized, if not more, because of, at least in part, the stigma of the word "disorder" attached to it. We shouldn't want to declassify things a disorder simply because it might hurt feelings. We should see things for what they are and only reconsider labeling if there was a medical, scientific error in our understanding of the phenomenon.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Sherri » 24 June 2013, 17:15

Lucas wrote:dis·ease
[dih-zeez] noun, verb, dis·eased, dis·eas·ing.
noun
1.
a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.
-Dictionary.com

Over eating is not a disease, just like smoking is not a disease. Cancer caused by smoking is a disease, why isn't obesity caused by over eating a disease? Nutritional imbalance sounds like obesity to me. Obesity puts you at increased risk of heart attacks and strokes and puts increased strain on your body. The state of being obese endangers yours health.


Cancer actually directly harms the body. Any time you see a person with cancer, you know that person's body is being fucked up by the abnormal cells inside of it. You can't say the same for a person with obesity, regardless of what caused it. I'm obese. My blood pressure sits in a very healthy place, anywhere from 98/57 - 115/65 (I keep track of what it is, and that's for the past 4 months). My cardiovascular health doesn't suffer. My resting heart rate is fantastic, usually under or just at 70. I'm very much able to be physically active without issue when I want to, and I work at a job that puts a high amount of stress on the body, without issue. Doctors are usually very surprised when they check my vitals :lol:.

So no, obesity in and of itself is not the part that should be labeled a disease. It puts the wrong train of thought on obesity when obesity isn't the real problem, only a link in the chain that leads to actual health problems. If people want more education and better treatment for the unhealthy effects of obesity while they personally work hard to combat it, I'm all for insurance covering that, but labeling obesity a disease is a step backward in fighting the true problem that leads to obesity, which is the lack of self-control. As Erick said, the social stigmas and ideas about it are very important, and we know that because it's that societal viewpoint that allows so many Americans to become obese in the first place.

The idea that you have the freedom to eat what you want, make excuses about eating shitty foods and not exercising because it's tradition or your life is busy, and not take responsibility for what you're doing to your body is extremely pervasive here. I'm strongly against adding to that by furthering the idea that we should just medically treat the side effects of the real problem instead of zapping it at the root.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby Nam » 28 March 2014, 19:26

Personally, I do not think that obesity should be classed as a disease, Just like many other 'diseases' such as alcoholism, drug addiction, anorexia etc etc

I really do thik that one of the reasons it is being treat as a disease is, to put it plainly, people do not like to be called 'fat'. They do not like to be told they are unhealthy or overweight. Calling it a disease makes it sound a lot less harsh and makes it out as if its not he persons fault. Doctors here in the Uk have actually had guidance telling them to avoid using the word obese for Christs sake. It just removes responsibility for peoples actions. There are some conditions that may cause obesity, but that does not mean obesity is a disease. There is also some evidence to say genetics may make a person more likely to store fat than others, but that does not make it a disease either. In most cases its due to a person having a sedentary lifestyle and eating crap.

I used to be obese, but I took responsibility for it and changed it. I did this by accepting the fact I ate shite and sat on my arse most of the time. Its hard work, and I think that is one of the reasons its so pervasive as a problem. People have got lazy and over the years have had responsibility for their actions taken away from them. It may not be a popular view, but to me its more true than anything else out there.
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Re: Obesity Is Now Labeled As A Disease

Unread postby xyz72 » 28 March 2014, 19:33

Obesity is the result of a lack of self control and/or lack of proper education on nutrition and exercise, not a disease. But as others have stated, people prefer to label something a disease because it implies that they aren't at fault.
"I have a condition" is easier to say than "I lack self-control". It's the same with obese people blaming the food industry, the economy or the media. Never look for a fault in yourself when you can project blame.

In my obese days I liked to blame others as well. "Oh, it's genetics!", "It's my family's fault for not giving me healthier options!", "There's no healthy food available at school!". Looking back, I realize that all of those things were contributing factors that made it harder for me, but in the end it boiled down to myself and my willingness to get off my ass and work on myself. It's tough and I keep struggling with it - probably will my entire life. But at no point in my life did I have an obesity disease and I find it quite insulting to declare it a disease.
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