5

votes

What do you think of the AMA classifying obesity as a disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 19, 2013 at 3:01 AM

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/obesity-disease-doctors-group-says-6C10371394

While I do believe more has to be done to fight obesity, I fear that this will just lead us more and more under the government designed eating plans using faulty information from the get go. I can see them pushing more and more whole grains and low fat on us using this as a basis.

Of course, the other part of this that gives me pause is that it will give people an out and a way to release their own personal responsibility. It's not my fault, I have obesity, and the government should pay for my scooter and all my bills because I'm too fat to work...

I know the AMA is not a part of the government, but this is where a lot of the FDA gets their moral high ground to begin enacting their legislation.

Thoughts?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on June 20, 2013
at 10:55 PM

Good for you for admitting your bad, Allison. :) It's okay, it's happened to me before!

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on June 20, 2013
at 06:48 AM

@Michael. Good point. still no. I still don't think it's good for the government to promote things like this... Two words. Food lobbying. :] And my bad... I always thought that obesity was just above the normal.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on June 19, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Obesity is being 30% over one's ideal body weight - far above 5 or 10 lbs! "Mild obesity" would never be advantageous unless one's natural environment was a couch with a refrigerator nearby. In my opinion, you might want to re-think this. I think being comfortable with holding a little extra weight is largely a personal matter, but anything approaching obesity is a serious problem and causes a HUGE cascade of diseases. Nothing about that kind of fat is protective of anyone. "Mild obesity"? Please. Nothing mild about obesity or being anywhere close to it.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on June 19, 2013
at 07:28 PM

@Matt, did you know shit food was bad for you when you were a kid? If all your Mom gave you was shit food, all you saw in school was shit food, all you see in the media was shit food, would you know it was shit? It is the prevailing norm. People grow up in the US with all of the cards stacked against them, especially if they are economically disadvantaged. Paleo eating means stepping outside of a box, and alot of people don't have the ability to do that without being led there. Being judgmental is so unattractive. More unattractive than being fat.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on June 19, 2013
at 06:49 PM

It is unfortunate, Matt, that you are filled with hatred and bigotry. I was fat, and was no worse of a person that I am now. Your anger and disapproval wouldn't have helped me before, and I don't support it now.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 19, 2013
at 03:36 PM

I see the scooter argument as hyperbolic. Of course you could get a scooter if you were willing to pay a big enough insurance premium. Yet insurance is already paying much bigger sums for bypass surgery, diabetes treatment etc. which are a direct result of obesity.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 19, 2013
at 03:25 PM

I think it's semantics maybe. Cancer, alcoholism and obesity are better classed as chronic debilitating conditions. Not really really the same thing as TB or polio which would be diseases, being communicable and involuntary. The government steps in to deal with both no matter what you call them.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on June 19, 2013
at 03:04 PM

5-10 pounds overweight is not obese. Obesity has a specific definition. 5-10 pounds is not a health problem for most people, not just older women or those with kids. I am very tired of hearing about children as an excuse for obesity/everything else.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:53 PM

one has to be aware of options etc that are avaiable before making a 'good' choice (like eating, being healthy...).

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:53 PM

I sort of agree with you Matt that many people know, but still a lot arguably don't, they're affected by their envrionmental influences, education etc. Most run in 'auto pilot' anyway. The world contrains ppl into having to work, there is lots of stress, some ppl are in unconduvive cirsumstaces, etc. It's unfair and unrealistic to throw around words like stupid to describe a heterogenous group of people ('fat people'...?) where there are so many circumstances that affect how a person turns out. I'm not saying ppl don't have responsbility/'choice', but choice never exists in a vacuum, and

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:45 PM

I'm curious: what if the govt promoted policies you agreed with? Would it be in its place then? Are opposed to statism in general or because of the particulars of how and what policies are promoted? (Granted this could feed into the first part of dichotomy...) Also 5-10lb oveweight isn't obese... ;)

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:38 PM

More people are going to die because they are going to implement bad science.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 19, 2013
at 12:13 PM

And to judge them, without knowledge of their specific life, emotions, and diet, is short-sighted.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 19, 2013
at 12:12 PM

I disagree. I "got fat" on a vegetarian diet, post a surgery infection requiring IV Keflex. For me, this combination AND a stressful job, limiting my sleep to less than 6 hours a night during the week, sent my body into a downward spiral. I chalked up my weight gain to "aging", then left my corporate life to travel. I lost 30 lbs eating TONS of fat, drinking too much alcohol, and laying on the beach...All my relatives said "Oh, you must have been walking a lot to have lost that weight." Nope. I was eating appropriately and SLEEPING. Everyone with a weight problem did not follow the same path.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 19, 2013
at 11:44 AM

Fat people aren't stupid, they know shit food is bad for them. They just don't give a shit.

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9 Answers

4
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on June 19, 2013
at 11:22 AM

By classifying obesity as a disease those who are obese can say "it's not my fault, I've got a medical condition!!" and expect their insurance company to pay for treatment. If this means obese people will receive nutritional counseling and monitoring, great. But if it means they will take pills in order to correct what is usually a diet/lifestyle disorder then this will not help matters one bit.

Obesity is a very complex and serious problem. I welcome attention being drawn to it but fixing the problem will not be achieved merely by relabeling it.

_Lazza

2
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 19, 2013
at 12:31 PM

I thought that the comparison to smoking was apt. Considering the impact obesity has on health care costs, it's on that level. Unfortunately taking away people's excess food and sedentary habits is a lot more complicated than applying a surgeon general's label to packs of cigarettes.

My doctor was pretty polite about my obesity. It was the underlying cause of my diabetes and he probably should have been more outspoken about it several years earlier.

2
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on June 19, 2013
at 06:27 AM

I think it sucks to classify it as a disease, but then not treat it medically. People will be referred to for profit weight loss clinics, that won't even use the research doctors do have at their disposal.

Also, I don't blame people for being obese. It's a problem of poor education, or poor income, or poor availability, or poor advice, or any of those in any combination.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 19, 2013
at 12:13 PM

And to judge them, without knowledge of their specific life, emotions, and diet, is short-sighted.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 19, 2013
at 12:12 PM

I disagree. I "got fat" on a vegetarian diet, post a surgery infection requiring IV Keflex. For me, this combination AND a stressful job, limiting my sleep to less than 6 hours a night during the week, sent my body into a downward spiral. I chalked up my weight gain to "aging", then left my corporate life to travel. I lost 30 lbs eating TONS of fat, drinking too much alcohol, and laying on the beach...All my relatives said "Oh, you must have been walking a lot to have lost that weight." Nope. I was eating appropriately and SLEEPING. Everyone with a weight problem did not follow the same path.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on June 19, 2013
at 06:49 PM

It is unfortunate, Matt, that you are filled with hatred and bigotry. I was fat, and was no worse of a person that I am now. Your anger and disapproval wouldn't have helped me before, and I don't support it now.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 19, 2013
at 11:44 AM

Fat people aren't stupid, they know shit food is bad for them. They just don't give a shit.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:53 PM

I sort of agree with you Matt that many people know, but still a lot arguably don't, they're affected by their envrionmental influences, education etc. Most run in 'auto pilot' anyway. The world contrains ppl into having to work, there is lots of stress, some ppl are in unconduvive cirsumstaces, etc. It's unfair and unrealistic to throw around words like stupid to describe a heterogenous group of people ('fat people'...?) where there are so many circumstances that affect how a person turns out. I'm not saying ppl don't have responsbility/'choice', but choice never exists in a vacuum, and

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:53 PM

one has to be aware of options etc that are avaiable before making a 'good' choice (like eating, being healthy...).

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on June 19, 2013
at 07:28 PM

@Matt, did you know shit food was bad for you when you were a kid? If all your Mom gave you was shit food, all you saw in school was shit food, all you see in the media was shit food, would you know it was shit? It is the prevailing norm. People grow up in the US with all of the cards stacked against them, especially if they are economically disadvantaged. Paleo eating means stepping outside of a box, and alot of people don't have the ability to do that without being led there. Being judgmental is so unattractive. More unattractive than being fat.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on June 20, 2013
at 10:36 AM

Like any other bureaucracy, the goal of large organizations, AMA included, is self preservation by doing more of the same. You can view these kinds of organizations and their goals as a type of cancer on society. What originally was a beneficial, well intentioned goal, now grows rampant, and becomes malignant and self protective, at the cost of society, and their victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^H patients.

By classifying something as a disease, it then falls under their monopolistic jurisdiction, which means that they will have full control over treatment of it, the same way as they do with cancer treatments. So anyone who says that they "cured" their obesity will be sued, as will anyone who claims it can be cured, or maintained through diet or exercise.

Big Pharma will then not be far behind, producing drugs that have interesting negative side effects, but also slightly lower body fat, so that those taking the prescriptions will need a few more to counter the side effects, and then a few others to counteract those side effects, etc. There will never be a cure, but rather a constant maintenance of the "disease" so that long term profit is ensured.

Doctors, who aren't trained as nutritionists, and won't be, will then be marketed heavily to, to push various versions of these drugs, and will hand out prescriptions, much in the same way as they do with statins, and you'll also see the definition of obesity being set lower and lower, so as to be able to get more clients...

At least, that's probably what's behind their wet dream... We've seen how this kind of stuff plays out before.

  1. Invent a new disease (in this case label it)

  2. Invent a drug to "treat" it

  3. ????

  4. Profit.

(With a hat tip to South Park and the Underwear Gnomes.)

1
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on June 19, 2013
at 02:20 PM

I'm not really comfortable with the concept of labeling voluntary behaviors a disease, and I say that as a recovering alcoholic. My biological mother is/was from a family of hardcore alcoholics, and I have no doubts that I am genetically predisposed to alcoholism. But, the bottom line is that I can choose to drink or not drink, and for 17.5 years I have chosen to not drink. To label myself as diseased in this regard just feels wrong to me.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 19, 2013
at 03:25 PM

I think it's semantics maybe. Cancer, alcoholism and obesity are better classed as chronic debilitating conditions. Not really really the same thing as TB or polio which would be diseases, being communicable and involuntary. The government steps in to deal with both no matter what you call them.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 19, 2013
at 02:02 PM

I think it's pretty clear that obesity is often both the symptom/conflater of an already identified disease, or indeed, it's own unique disease. We live in a world where it's not just tuberculosis, leprosy, the flu, or AIDS, our genes and behaviors can create bona fide diseases. I think alcoholism is an even better example than tobacco use, honestly. Sure, it's wrapped up in social stigma -- "they did it to themselves!" -- but it's a disease nevertheless.

However, I agree with nearly every other post so far -- actually recognizing it as a disease officially, will create an expectation of entitlement -- e.g., insurance paying for the fatty-scooters, or new medicines, etc.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 19, 2013
at 03:36 PM

I see the scooter argument as hyperbolic. Of course you could get a scooter if you were willing to pay a big enough insurance premium. Yet insurance is already paying much bigger sums for bypass surgery, diabetes treatment etc. which are a direct result of obesity.

1
52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

on June 19, 2013
at 04:46 AM

my thought: completely ridiculous. just because you may be 5-10 pounds overweight doesn't mean you are diseased.

my opinion, not stating facts, but i think that being mildly obese can be abit natural... especially for older women who have had quite a few kids... body's way of protecting health of mother.

to be honest, i don't think it's the government's place for this kind of stuff. all they are going to do is hire some SAD professionals and tell people to starve them selves of fat and to stuff their faces with whole grains.

they've been doing just this for a while. just going to become more bureaucratic.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on June 19, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Obesity is being 30% over one's ideal body weight - far above 5 or 10 lbs! "Mild obesity" would never be advantageous unless one's natural environment was a couch with a refrigerator nearby. In my opinion, you might want to re-think this. I think being comfortable with holding a little extra weight is largely a personal matter, but anything approaching obesity is a serious problem and causes a HUGE cascade of diseases. Nothing about that kind of fat is protective of anyone. "Mild obesity"? Please. Nothing mild about obesity or being anywhere close to it.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on June 19, 2013
at 03:04 PM

5-10 pounds overweight is not obese. Obesity has a specific definition. 5-10 pounds is not a health problem for most people, not just older women or those with kids. I am very tired of hearing about children as an excuse for obesity/everything else.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:45 PM

I'm curious: what if the govt promoted policies you agreed with? Would it be in its place then? Are opposed to statism in general or because of the particulars of how and what policies are promoted? (Granted this could feed into the first part of dichotomy...) Also 5-10lb oveweight isn't obese... ;)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on June 20, 2013
at 10:55 PM

Good for you for admitting your bad, Allison. :) It's okay, it's happened to me before!

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on June 20, 2013
at 06:48 AM

@Michael. Good point. still no. I still don't think it's good for the government to promote things like this... Two words. Food lobbying. :] And my bad... I always thought that obesity was just above the normal.

0
7d151e981f4f5b0a3c376d257965093a

on June 20, 2013
at 11:49 AM

This will just give people an excuse to carry on being unhealthy. They'll now be able to take a pill to "cure their disease", instead of targeting the root of the problem, which is their lifestyle.

I have no problem with somebody choosing to be fat. If that's how they want to live their life that's fine. Live and let live.

What I do have a problem with is people choosing to be fat then claiming medication and benefits which (as a working, taxpaying member of society) I have to contribute to.

I eat well and train five days a week to stay in shape. This doesn't come for free. I'd be over the moon if the government suddenly turned round and said they'd pay for my gym membership and all my supplements. Perhaps that would be a better route to go down instead of just handing out money to people who've become "too fat to work".

0
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on June 19, 2013
at 04:46 AM

Free scooter....nice!

"We live in a low physical activity, high calorie, high food variety environment." Hmmm I wonder what their advice will be?

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