Is obesity really a disease?

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  • Is obesity really a disease?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I do worry about classing it as a disease.

    It takes the onus for providing a cure away from the ‘sufferer’ and makes them look for a medical solution.

    xiphon
    Member

    No, it’s a result of gluttony.

    5thElefant
    Member

    It’s a survival trait.

    Not a useful one in the western world at the moment. But that could all change.

    jon1973
    Member

    It is in the realms of addiction where the person clearly has a problem but they also have a relatively easy cure.

    I think it is an addication rather than a disease, but I think if it was that easy to cure, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now with all sorts of addictions.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    been happening in psychological diseases for a while

    It has also been alleged that the way the categories of the DSM are structured, as well as the substantial expansion of the number of categories, are representative of an increasing medicalization of human nature, which may be attributed to disease mongering by psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies, the power and influence of the latter having grown dramatically in recent decades.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders#Medicalization_and_financial_conflicts_of_interest

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    if you classify such a condition as being a fat fecker as a disease then it leaves it open for the drug companies to “invent” a pill/treatment (solution?) for the problem thus making money for themselves without attempting to sort the underlying problem of folk simply eating too much, just stop lifting those burgers with your podgy little fingers would be a start.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I’m sure there are some cases where a disease causes the obesity. But obesity itself is obviously not a disease.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It Depends. With some folks I reckon it’s a genuine mental illness. With others, it’s just greed or not even that, just a legitimate lifestyle choice- lots of people are perfectly happy with how they are, and realistic about the results. My mate Stuart’s a big unit, ask him why, he’ll tell you simply it’s because he loves food. If you ask me why I’m covered in bruises, it’s because I love riding bikes, it’s just a side effect. He’d not be happy to be told he has a disease.

    But yeah I have known people for whom it’s variously tied up in delusion, low self esteem, depression, etc. Maybe in those cases it’s a symptom rather than a disease?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    disease
    noun /d??zi?z/

    Definition
    B1 [C or U] (an) illness of people, animals, plants, etc., caused by infection or a failure of health rather than by an accident.

    Entirely depends on your definition. Wiki covers all bases:
    It is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs.[1] It may be caused by factors originally from an external source, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases. In humans, “disease” is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Not everyone who is obese is guilty of over-eating. Stop being so judgemental. 😐

    klumpy
    Member

    Well lung cancer is a disease, smoking isn’t.
    Diabetes is a disease, drinking fizzy pop isn’t.
    So I guess obesity is a disease, even if over-eating isn’t..?

    EDIT: All the above diseases CAN happen without the activities listed alongside.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    hmmmm, wonder if US citizen could sue their favored ( 😉 ) fast food outlet for making them ill

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    if you classify such a condition as being a fat fecker as a disease then it leaves it open for the drug companies to “invent” a pill/treatment (solution?) for the problem thus making money for themselves without attempting to sort the underlying problem of folk simply eating too much, just stop lifting those burgers with your podgy little fingers would be a start.

    Think thats out there already have a quick google for miracle weight loss. It’s as much an industry as making people fat.

    Yes acknowledge the problem and help people but dont give people excuses.

    For most, no. For a few, yes.

    neninja
    Member

    All the ‘obese’ people I know serve up huge food portions, eat loads of crisps/chocolate etc, drink lots of beer/wine and do no exercise. Go figure.

    In 99% of cases it is not a disease. It’s a lifestyle choice.

    5thElefant
    Member

    But yeah I have known people for whom it’s variously tied up in delusion, low self esteem, depression, etc. Maybe in those cases it’s a symptom rather than a disease?

    That’s just a weird western perception. Anywhere else in the world being fat means you’re rich, not broken.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    In 99% of cases it is not a disease. It’s a lifestyle choice.

    I disagree. If people knew about the rubbish treatment that can be dished out to thyroid disease sufferers in the UK then they wouldn’t be so quick to criticise.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Anywhere else in the world being fat means you’re rich, not broken.

    There was a radio program about a bloke going to live with a tribe in Ethiopia. He was quite overweight.

    When he arrived all the children were taken off into the bush and he didn’t see them again for about 3 days.

    In the end he found out it was because no one in the tribe could believe he’d be able to find enough calories to make him fat without eating other people.

    xiphon
    Member

    Not everyone who is obese is guilty of over-eating. Stop being so judgemental.

    How else are they consuming more calories than they can burn?

    In > Out = Gain weight
    Out > In = Loose weight
    In = Out = Neither loose nor gain.

    Adjusting your diet is the hardest part, and that’s where people fail.

    It doesn’t help that MacD’s sponsored the olympics, Coca-Cola sponsored international football, etc…

    teef
    Member

    In 99% of cases it is not a disease. It’s a lifestyle choice.

    I disagree. If people knew about the rubbish treatment that can be dished out to thyroid disease sufferers in the UK then they wouldn’t be so quick to criticise.

    Perhaps the thyroid sufferers are the 1%

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    In 99% of cases it is not a disease. It’s a lifestyle choice.

    I disagree. If people knew about the rubbish treatment that can be dished out to thyroid disease sufferers in the UK then they wouldn’t be so quick to criticise.

    Surely people with thyroid issues are in the 1%, not the 99% that neninja is talking about.

    In my own experience, there’s plenty of fatties who are obese because they eat crap and lots of it but blame their ‘thyroid problems’

    camo16
    Member

    Well, I was obese – in NHS speak – at just over 15 stone, about 3 years ago. 😯 The nurse looked ashamed when she told me… cos I was fit, innit.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    How else are they consuming more calories than they can burn?

    If you’re untreated/undermedicated then your metabolism does not work as it should.

    Perhaps the thyroid suffers are the 1%

    The figure will be higher due to:

    If people knew about the rubbish treatment that can be dished out to thyroid disease sufferers in the UK

    theflatboy
    Member

    cinnamon_girl – Member

    Not everyone who is obese is guilty of over-eating. Stop being so judgemental.

    What is the genuine percentage that aren’t, though? It must be miniscule. Perhaps the thyroid sufferers should campaign for healthier eating and that way when they are the only overweight people left they will be more sympathetically treated.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    In my own experience, there’s plenty of fatties who are obese because they eat crap and lots of it but blame their ‘thyroid problems’

    It can be easy to recognise thyroid disorder symptoms in others, being a sufferer myself.

    I went from size 10 to size 18 with no change in a decent diet.

    ninfan
    Member

    Is anorexia a disease?

    Anorexia and overeating are Just different places on the spectrum of eating disorders surely?

    xiphon
    Member

    If you’re untreated/undermedicated then your metabolism does not work as it should.

    No, but you adjust your diet accordingly?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    So is this that thing where people aren’t allowed to be sexist or racist any more so instead they move to another, more acceptable minority to feel superior to?

    5thElefant – Member

    That’s just a weird western perception. Anywhere else in the world being fat means you’re rich, not broken.

    Eh, with respect, what a load of rubbish. Yes without some wealth you can’t get obese, but that hardly means that realising obesity can be a symptom of poor mental health is either western or weird.

    hora
    Member

    I don’t normally get involved in these arguments as I see a cyclist hobby forum looking down on overweight people as being slightly ‘elitist’.

    cinnamon_girl this is difficult to say but I really don’t think its a sizeable amount. Diabetes is on the increase, so is peoples wait due to lifestyle AND diet.

    Its the basics.

    I’m overweight. Its not because I have any underlying health issues. I like eating and drinking alcohol whilst driving most places and sitting infront of a TV. Alot on STW are similar (even though we are well-meaning and want to exercise/get fit). Its human nature.

    Moses
    Member

    The obesity “epidemic” shares many characteristics with other epidemics, in that it spreads (?) within nations and sub-populations by association. It seems to have started in Arkansas. There is a hypothesis that our psychology & physiology may be modified by an agent such as a virus or viroid (cf scrapie), in the way that toxoplasmosis alters cats behaviour. It’s a very slow-spreading disease, if it is one, which changes desire for food and activity.
    Or it could be a change in gut bacteria:
    Pipeline

    tutgareth
    Member

    Rather than disease it should be a mental dissorder…… like a kind of ocd,,,,, must eat too much and not do any form of exercise…. thats just my opinion for the majority of obese people. Apologies to the unfortuneate few people who genuinley have a medical problem.

    5thElefant
    Member

    A large friend of mine announced she had a thyroid problem. It went like this:

    “I’ve got an over-active thyroid”
    “Under-active?”
    “No, over-active”
    “Jesus…”

    Same conversation with everyone she told. 😆

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I think it has as much to do with getting people cared for in a broken healthcare system.

    classify it as a disease and sudden healthcare insurance companies have to help educate and look after their customers, rather than just say client lifestyle”

    Is how I understand the thinking behind the move.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    As far as I’m concerned, obesity itself isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom of something else be it thyroid problems, mental health problems or just general laziness and over eating.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    But yeah I have known people for whom it’s variously tied up in delusion, low self esteem, depression, etc. Maybe in those cases it’s a symptom rather than a disease?

    +1

    slackalice
    Member

    There are likely to be a number of factors that cause the condition. In some cases, it may well be a physical deficiency, overall my suspicions lie with sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, processed food stuffs and most importantly, the state of mind and an internal dis-ease with oneself and one’s place in the world.

    When I think back to my childhood in the 70’s, there were very few overweight kids at my school’s, compared to the number that seem to be waddling about now. Similarly, there very few overweight adults in comparison then too. Unless of course the popularity of mobility scooters has mean’t they now get out more.

    How much of it is down to a ‘victim’ mentality?

    xiphon
    Member

    I think it has as much to do with getting people cared for in a broken healthcare system.

    classify it as a disease and sudden healthcare insurance companies have to help educate and look after their customers, rather than just say client lifestyle”

    Is how I understand the thinking behind the move.

    Or perhaps in the US, the pharmaceutical companies can sell “anti-obese pills”

    After all, who donates large contributions towards political campaigns?

    stgeorge
    Member

    Is obesity really a disease?

    NO

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    No, but you adjust your diet accordingly?

    One of the symptoms is loss of appetite, I ate very little. My body is swollen with excess fluid.

    cinnamon_girl this is difficult to say but I really don’t think its a sizeable amount. Diabetes is on the increase, so is peoples wait due to lifestyle AND diet.

    I’ve seen the figure of 2% of the population having a thyroid disorder. Many people are fine with the right meds. I have an uncommon type and self-medicate with drugs I buy from outside the UK. Despite a family history, I was not listened to by GPs.

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