Monday, June 24, 2013

Obesity as a Disease?

Last week the American Medical Association voted to classify obesity as a disease.  Obesity has been characterized as a major health concern, a complex disorder, and an urgent chronic condition.  It is reported that this move will add 78 million adults and 11 million children to the list of individuals needing treatment for a disease.  This will oblige physicians to offer treatment for an illness that requires no more than a visual assessment.   Is it really the physician’s responsibility?  I assume we all have a mirror. 

This begs the question, “what is disease”?  Perhaps obesity is just another symptom of a disease with a real underlying problem.  In a broad sense disease can be anything that impairs normal function.  The implications are huge.  Any new “disease” is worth big bucks to the pharmaceutical industry.  Add this to an overweight medical system with poor performance.  Will insurance companies be required to cover subsequent treatments?  It will more likely become a pre-existing condition for them to exclude coverage.  Some seek gastric bypass which generally results in them being uninsurable.  Will it open the door for individuals to get disability? 

In a world gone mad, the government food stamp program has contributed to the problem.  Covered items include soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, ice cream, bakery items, and energy drinks with a nutritional fact label.  The oversimplification is better food equals better health but not everyone has that luxury. 

The basic problem is too many calories of the wrong types of food verses the amount of calories burned.  Just for the record, obesity can include other factors such as food allergies, hormone balance, toxicity, addiction, and emotional considerations. 

Do we create our own disease?  Are we enabled to create our own disease?  Do we blame others for creating our disease?  Don’t think about this one too hard as it will be disruptive to your stress hormone system.

Stay Well!  It's your only chance!

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