By Tom, on August 2nd, 2013
I live in Colorado. We’re the “fittest” state in the US, but still one in five Coloradans are considered obese. I agree entirely that there is an obesity epidemic in this country. But, in June, the American Medical Association proclaimed that obesity is a disease. I have a hard time agreeing with this conclusion, as did the expert panel that they appointed to advise them on this decision. These experts saw the need for a change in the definition and method of determination of obesity and they didn’t know if disease was quite the right word to describe obesity.
The AMA claims that they made this decision to change the methodology of medical doctors. They want doctors to treat obesity rather than just tell their patients to eat less and exercise more. What I think is really going on is that the AMA would like to start recommending “medical” diet prescriptions and promoting new surgeries. This is good for the the business of medicine. I don’t think there is anything malicious going on here, it’s just that declaring obesity a disease might be very profitable for those that the AMA represent.
I have said before that obesity is a medical condition. From my standpoint, I can’t call it a disease any more than I can call a sneeze or a rash a disease. Obesity is a symptom of something larger. A couple of other “diseases”, heart disease and diabetes, are symptoms of the same disorder.
They use to call this metabolic syndrome and the cure was a ketogenic diet – one that restricts carbohydrates. But that would not work in this day and age. It’s too simple. The medical community no longer thinks the body can work things out for itself. We have to use dangerous chemicals with unknown side-effects to cure things that, if we just changed the way we lived, will resolve themselves. There’s very little profit in this way of thinking. So, as long as powerful organizations are in charge, we will have to pay for our health.