So, The American Medical Association (AMA) has determined that obesity is officially classified as a disease. Think about that for a second, drink it in for all it’s worth. I cannot tell you how much the idea of this upsets me. Now here’s why. Obesity is an epidemic, yes, absolutely, no questions, BUT is it really considered a “disease?” Let’s analyze the word “disease” for a moment:
Merriam-Webster.com defines a “disease” as follows: “A condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.”
Now, looking at the above, what is defined as “normal function?” Also, what part of being obese can be defined a “part” in the scenario. It’s hard for me to believe. In this case that obesity itself is the disease, but, John Hutton on my personal Facebook page stated the following: “I understand how someone with diabetes or some other kind of illness where weight gain is a symptom. My mother has a hell of a time with weight because of her hyperthyroidism and chronic back pain, but even with that it’s not fair to claim “weight” was the disease.”
The key word that struck me in that quote was “symptom.” So let’s take a look at the word “Symptom” and see what comes up:
Merriam-Webster.com defines a “symptom” as follows: “subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance;broadly : something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder”
Now THAT sounds like obesity to me! “Evidence of disease…indicates the presence of bodily disorder.” Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression, addiction, etc., these are diseases that all have the possible affect of obesity and weight gain. The AMA is failing to see the deeper problems that lead to obesity. Of course physical exercise and eating healthy is one thing, and will work for the majority of people out there, but some people need genuine help, beyond the gym.
Psychological help and even possibly a nutrition expert and personal trainer would help many of these people. The Biggest Loser’s a great example of how digging into someone psyche can help them make that break through. Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper are constantly trying to find that one thing that holds their players back. What keeps them from going that extra mile? It usually has to do with some sort of deep seeded family problem or depression. After the show, you hear of many of these contestants relapse back into their old ways. They failed to continue the process beyond the show. Because of this, old habits come back and those conveniences that were once offered to them start to look more enticing.
Here’s my final thoughts. Again, obesity is an epidemic, it affects millions of Americans. Adults and children, young and old. Should obesity be classified as a disease? No. Should it be considered a symptom? More than likely. This feels like a ploy for insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies to just get their hands on more money. But that’s not the question. Obesity was never a disease, simply a symptom of a mostly lazy and slightly psychologically damaged society.
So, what are your thoughts? Leave your comments in the post below and let’s hear what you have to say! And as always, thanks for reading!