Is obesity really a disease?

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  • Is obesity really a disease?
  • xiphon
    Member

    Can they? Can the smoker just stop smoking?

    Yes – but it depends on how strong willed the person is.

    My wife grandparents smoked 60 a day for about 30 years, when one day they both decided to quit – and went cold turkey. Never touched a cigarette ever again. They admitted they did have some withdrawal symptoms for a month or so, but no worse than having flu.

    Many family members were astonished by their ability to go cold turkey – their response was “It’s all in the mind – and we’re stubborn people”

    So yes, people can “just stop” (this includes over-eating), if they have a strong enough mind.

    ===========

    On a side note, I see another fan of The Wire! mcnultycop

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    And that’s exactly my point. Some people can just stop smoking, or drinking, or eating, or arguing on the internet. Some can’t.

    Premier Icon mcnultycop
    Subscriber

    On a side note, I see another fan of The Wire! mcnultycop

    I am a fan of The Wire, but I’ve been known as mcnultycop a good few years before The Wire was even concieved. A long story involving a strobe light and a late night Q&A session (and the fact I’m called McNulty).

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Can they? Can the smoker just stop smoking?

    Yes. It’s called MTFU.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Genuine lol at that… Why do we bother with all this support to quit smoking, when all that’s really needed is for zilog to tell them to MTFU. Is this a service you offer on the NHS?

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Nah, they couldn’t afford me. 8)
    In all seriousness though, that’s what it often comes down to. Giving up something like smoking or binge eating is so much easier if you have support (partner, family, friends, etc) but that very often isn’t there so you succumb to peer pressure. But either way anyone is capable of doing it. No, it isn’t always easy, but getting the most out of life rarely is.

    Junkyard
    Member

    or arguing on the internet.

    I have read some shit on this website but are you really claiming some folk can stop arguing on it …….Nonsense ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Goes off for MTFU therapy

    mickolas
    Member

    mogram – okay I concede the definition thing. rugby players weren’t the main thrust of my point, though. eating too much and doing to little will result in excess fat; this is not ABnormal. unfortunately, you did NOT understand the distinction I was referring to! unless you have underlying conditions, being fat is caused by poor lifestyle, just as being drunk is caused by consuming alcohol. being drunk/fat are not causes, but effects. addictions (to drink/drugs/food) may or may not be mental illnesses – that is beside the point I was making.

    northwind – an overworked liver from slight overexcess would be a normal, healthy liver still. when liver disease is involved, normal functions have broken down. when a person is overweight through gluttony, normal functions (with respect to fat storage/burning) continue unabated. that is the difference. and yes, the smoker can simply stop smoking. it’s called ‘giving up’ (although I’m not really sure what sacrifice is being made!) or ‘quitting’. been there, done that. if someone has cancer from smoking, I don’t believe simply quitting will help, though. if someone has fatness from gluttonyand inactivity, then simply quitting gluttony and inactiviy WILL solve their problem. don’t see your problem with that one.

    and yes, people will recover from some diseases without intervention. if a condition is irrevocable without intervention, then it almost certainly a disease. recovery from disease without intervention occurs in only two ways: by function of the immune system or by function of the bodies healing system (eg growth of new tissue etc). the curing of fatness through proper diet and exercise utilises neither of these; just ongoing normal functions of energy release. hence, not a disease

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    So yes, people can “just stop” (this includes over-eating), if they have a strong enough mind.

    Hmm. Your mind is nothing but a collection of chemicals swilling around. By taking addictive drugs you are changing those chemicals, so you are changing how your mind works.

    So once you’ve made that change, you have to change your brain back. This is a hell of a lot harder than just stopping, for many people. It’s more fundamental than just ‘don’t do it’.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    So you believe that all smokers can just stop without intervention? Excellent. People who try and fail, they must be pretending?

    mickolas – Member

    if someone has fatness from gluttony and inactivity, then simply quitting gluttony and inactiviy WILL solve their problem. don’t see your problem with that one.

    I don’t see why you think I have a problem with that? Of course they may be able to do that, and if they can then it will resolve it. It’s just not relevant to whether or not it’s a disease.

    mickolas
    Member

    on seeing the smoking debate has started while I was typing:

    it’s not MTFU at all. willpower has nothing to do with it! otherwise it would be the weak-willed who quit due to public/peer pressure. it is a mental state though. your head has to be right. if you quit through ‘willpower’, you are effectively denying yourself something that you actually want. this means you will never be free, or will forever have those ‘weak moments’, whether you cave to them or not…

    the correct solution is not to give the smoker reasons to quit (health/wealth mostly). if that worked, there would already be no smokers left!

    the correct solution is to remove the reasons FOR smoking, which when examined properly can be seen to be false constructs, erected by the action of the drug itself. im effect, the smoker has been brainwashed by the nicotine to believe they achieve some sense of tension relief or other pleasure, when in fact the tension is implanted by the previous cigarette. once the smoker is ‘unbrainwashed’, they will not feel any desire to light up. hence no willpower will be required.

    I heartily recommend ‘the only way to stop smoking permanently’ by Allen Carr. it’s awesome. forget patches and gum etc, they are just the latest ploy by the tobacco companies to make money from you (where do you think they source the nicotine?); how do you expect to break a drug habit by taking the self-same drug – it’s patently nonsense and it’s a travesty that it is supported on the NHS!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Oh dear. Would you like to post some youtube videos to prove the conspiracy? Nicotine alternatives are effective for quitting- it separates the habit from the addiction, which means you can work on one part of the problem in isolation- makes things easier. This is a very simple concept!

    (in the same vein, it’s been demonstrated that going through the motions of preparing a dose can reduce the cravings even if the dose isn’t taken, or if an alternative is used.)

    Also, let’s just state the obvious, you don’t need to quit nicotine to quit smoking.

    xiphon
    Member

    From IFLS on Facebook (“I F*cking Love Science” is the group name!)

    These two pictures show body scans of two women approximately the same age and height. The one on the left weighs 113 kg (250 lbs), while the one on the right weighs 54 kg (120 lbs). Accumulated adipose tissue is not the only difference between the two; the obese woman has an enlarged heart and her lungs are somewhat restricted.

    Obesity has recently been declared a disease by the American Medical Association. While this does not have any legal ramifications, it may encourage doctors and insurance companies to take more steps in treating and preventing obesity. However, not everyone agrees with the AMA’s definition, citing that obesity is a complex issue with multiple causes and treatment options.

    Obesity is defined as having a body mass index over 30 kg/m^2. It greatly increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

    These two pictures show body scans of two women approximately the same age and height. The one on the left weighs 113 kg…

    Posted by I **** love science on Tuesday, 25 June 2013

    (There’s a photo at the end, of two women (one 250lbs, the other 120lbs), and full body scans showing the difference of the organs)

    mickolas
    Member

    northwind, I will try again: obesity due to sloth and gluttony is NORMAL. it is achievable without there being any malfunction. in those cases, therefore, there is NO disease.

    therefore obesity itself is not a disease, but may be caused BY a disease.

    I hope your happy now – that’s far more capital letters than I like to use.

    mickolas
    Member

    northwind…please be honest..are you trolling?

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    mickolas – Member

    northwind, I will try again: obesity due to sloth and gluttony is NORMAL. it is achievable without there being any malfunction. in those cases, therefore, there is NO disease.

    Typing it in capitals doesn’t make it any less wrong. Obesity is not normal, that is the entire point.

    Disagreeing with you is not trolling. Pointing out factual errors is also not trolling. This was trolling though:

    “Therefore obesity is not a disease and if you say it is you are wrong. and an idiot.”

    Hope that helps clear it up

    mickolas
    Member

    it is perfectly normal if you eat too much and do too little. it goes away if you reverse this trend. that is not true of any of the other cases you have put forward in support of your argument.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    mickolas – Member

    it is perfectly normal if you eat too much and do too little.

    It is often a natural consequence of eating too much and doing too little. This still isn’t normal.

    Bleeding is a natural consquence of banging your head against a computer screen. That isn’t normal either.

    mickolas
    Member

    smoking is not addictive – nicotine consumption is. so quitting smoking by using them is not really quitting any addictive behaviour. studies showing that people will quit smoking more readily by using alternatives only prove the same thing as saying people could quit injecting heroine if only they could get it in pill form. it doesn’t mean anybody has been helped out of their addiction.

    mickolas
    Member

    and again, bleeding is not helped by stopping banging your head. it relies on your bodies specific healing mechanisms. yet another fail by you.

    and yes I know you were being facetious.

    mickolas
    Member

    when you are overweight through sloth and gluttony, your body is still functioning normally. any other conditions, eg heart disease, high blood pressure may be caused by obesity, but they are not the obesity itself.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    No comment on disease question but its surely an epidemic or even endemic. Sadly spending a lot of time in hospitals at the moment (visits not treatment!) and can’t get away from fact that so many staff are obese. Its not meant to be a rude comment, but staggering that so few health professionals seem to be in control of their weight. Then there is the snacking and smoking?!?Got back from this afternoon’s visit and turned the tennis on, only to see some heavyweight line judges on the Murray match. what’s going on?

    Staying with older generation at the moment and there is one obvious sign – portion control. Every meal is 1/3 to 1/2 of my normal (sic) one. So lesson learnt for me – easy to have 1/2 current portions in my case!

    xiphon
    Member

    Then there is the snacking and smoking?

    If you know anybody who works as a Nurse in hospital, they will tell you why (the snacking anyway).

    Their contracted hours are quite different from reality, due to being short staffed. 30mins lunch? Lucky if you get 10mins.

    deviant
    Member

    Hilarious watching the fatties trying to justify their ‘disease’….
    As others have said, if there isn’t a medical cause for your obesity…if you just eat too much and do too little then you’re fooling nobody, you’re not ‘unwell’ and you don’t have a disease.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Xiphon, I understand. But how about a banana or an apple rather than a packet of monster munch? We all make choices, good and bad, but health pros are in a better place to make the correct ones, surely?

    xiphon
    Member

    Team Hurtmore wrote:

    Xiphon, I understand. But how about a banana or an apple rather than a packet of monster munch? We all make choices, good and bad, but health pros are in a better place to make the correct ones, surely?

    I agree an apple would be a more healthy choice – I was just trying to explain the “snacking” culture of nurses.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    deviant – Member

    Hilarious watching the fatties trying to justify their ‘disease’….

    I weigh 9 and a half stone. Interesting conclusion to jump to, though.

    mickolas – Member

    smoking is not addictive – nicotine consumption is. so quitting smoking by using them is not really quitting any addictive behaviour. studies showing that people will quit smoking more readily by using alternatives only prove the same thing as saying people could quit injecting heroine if only they could get it in pill form. it doesn’t mean anybody has been helped out of their addiction.

    Couple of points to pick up on here…

    First, quitting smoking without nicotine doesn’t kick the addiction, but is still highly beneficial to health. The main point of quitting smoking isn’t to quit nicotine, it’s to quit filling your lungs with poison. So even in the case of a smoker simply becoming a patch addict- which you don’t hear much about, but probably does happen- it’s still better than smoking.

    Second, though, the point of nicotine alternatives isn’t just to remove the smoking, and studies show it is effective in removing or reducing nicotine intake, not just in quitting smoking. To be honest I don’t think you’ll find many credible sources that suggests that nicotine alternatives aren’t useful.

    In case you’re wondering Deviant, I don’t smoke either ๐Ÿ˜‰

    mickolas
    Member

    The main point of quitting smoking isn’t to quit nicotine, it’s to quit filling your lungs with poison

    nicotine is a highly effective rat poison.

    studies show it is effective in removing or reducing nicotine intake, not just in quitting smoking.

    which studies? What I read seems to indicate an inability to differentiate between the effects of NRT and those of counselling:

    “Most of the evidence, however, comes from trials with regular behavioural support and monitoring and it is unclear whether using nicotine replacement therapy without regular contact would be as effective” – http://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b1024%5B/quote%5D

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/nicotine-replacement-therapies/

    “The results showed that, for each time period, almost one-third of recent quitters reported to have relapsed. The researchers found no difference in relapse rate among those who used NRT for more than six weeks,with or without professional counseling. No difference in quitting success with use of NRT was found for either heavy or light smokers.” – http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/nicotine-replacement-therapies/

    I don’t think you’ll find many credible sources that suggests that nicotine alternatives aren’t useful.

    “Nicotine replacement therapies … do not show any long-term effect on quitting even when combined with counseling,” says researcher Gregory Connolly, DMD, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control and professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health – http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20120109/study-nicotine-replacement-treatments-may-not-work-long-term

    “This study shows that the likelihood of relapse among smokers who have quit smoking is unrelated to whether they used NRT, or for how long, in the process of quitting. This is not a surprising observation.” – John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jan/09/nicotine-replacement-quitting-smoking

    University College London – “The authors comment: โ€˜This study provides the first evidence to date that NRT may help pregnant smokers to quit, but with the caveat that only combination NRT appears to confer a benefit.โ€™” – http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/therapy-areas/womens-health/combination-nicotine-replacement-therapy-beneficial-in-pregnancy/20003089.article#.Ucs8YZzMEpc

    So to conclude, NRT with counselling = somewhat effective. without counselling = no effect. Get your head right – as I said earlier.

    In addition, they are talking about cessation of smoking. Not necessarily reduction of nicotine uptake.

    Northwind – can you show a study which demonstrates that NRT, without counselling, effectively reduces nicotine intake?

    Bet you can’t, and you why? ‘Cause it doesn’t work!

    mickolas
    Member

    And FWIW,

    I DO believe in the ‘World Without Cancer’ theory. (See how the caps make it truer :wink:.) Not for any justifiable reason, though, and I certainly wouldn’t try and impose my view on anyone else. It just ‘feels’ right. Maybe that opens me up for mocking, but it’s the truth; sometimes we DO believe things for no good reason.

    If I was forced to justify it (like at gunpoint or something) then I would argue that if it is a hoax perpetrated by the authors, then I fail to see what it would benefit them. There is no monetary value to the discovery, and the vid is available for free. Unless it is a conspiracy involving the underground peach-growers cartel?

    On the other hand, if it were true, it would threaten the wealth of a lot of powerful people; so it is only natural to see it discredited – mogrim: are you a secret Pharmaceutical agent sent on STW to undermine “the truth”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Mister P
    Member

    Obesity seems to be contagious in Milton Keynes. Gunts everywhere, especially in the cake aisle at Morrisons.

    mickolas
    Member

    And Northwind:

    I hope I have not offended you (sometimes I can be a little abrupt). This is a topic I do feel very strongly about. I am an ex-smoker myself and do understand the pit of misery and despair that the smoker may find themselves in when trying to quit. I do genuinely believe that NRTs are just the next scam in line from the tobacco companies (you haven’t proposed an alternative source for the nicotine content therein…) and hate to see others caught in the trap.

    Cycling and getting fit has really helped me physically, but without the mental turnaround that enabled me to quit after years of failed attempts, I would not be the confident, fun-loving (if sometimes a little dour) person I am today.

    And I really do have Allen Carr (“The Only Way to Stop Smoking Permanently” Author) to thank for it. No, I am not affiliated in any way. FWIW, he claimed a 95-99% success rate for his method. And it really does eliminate any need for willpower.

    mickolas
    Member

    Peace out!

    tails
    Member

    I’m not going to read all the posts but it’s bloody easy to be overweight, I’ve put on a stone since giving up cancer tabs I would go as far as saying a have to put something in my mouth. Add that to the stealth sugar added to foods you might not check (chicken breast/chick pea salad) plus those meal deals where the sandwiches have 700kcals in them and the salads have a sugary sauce. All supermarket deals are on cadburys and haribo , you never get buy some beetroots and get a celery free!

    I’m 5’9” and 12.10st, I felt overweight at 12st I just can’t shift it anymore. There is only so long you can eat chicken salad, most of it unfortunately comes from being over fed as a child.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Your Connolly study doesn’t address stopping at all, it’s solely about relapse. Nicotine replacement therapy isn’t for relapse, so it’s hardly surprising it’s not effective at it. His study starts with a sample of people who have already stopped smoking and he’s perfectly clear about its scope, it tells you nothing at all about stopping, only staying clean.

    It does tell you something useful though, which is that it has no impact- positive or negative- on relapse. Which means that any benefit to the initial stop is valuable. For a long time there was a belief that quitting with gum/patches was a soft option and was less likely to stick.

    mickolas – Member

    which studies? What I read seems to indicate an inability to differentiate between the effects of NRT and those of counselling

    Actually, the meta you quoted notes:

    “Successful reduction was more common. In those receiving active nicotine replacement therapy, 21.8% had reduced consumption by more than 50% at final follow-up compared with 16.5% receiving placebo.”

    and

    “This systematic review of randomised clinical trials in smokers not ready to stop found that with NRT support twice as many quitters achieve six months of sustained abstinence”

    The comment which you’ve quoted doesn’t say what you seem to think it does… It states that “it is unclear whether using nicotine replacement therapy without regular contact would be as effective”- not that it can’t distinguish whether the benefit is from the therapy or the contact, only that the therapy without the contact may not be as effective.

    That might seem a small difference but it’s actually huge- it’s the difference between “this might not work” and “this works, but it might not work without the associated counselling”

    So- you’ve posted one irrelevant study, and one metastudy which disagrees with you. Good job ๐Ÿ˜‰

    mickolas – Member

    nicotine is a highly effective rat poison.

    Seriously? Warfarin is a highly effective rat poison, and a very useful medicine. Water is deadly if you drink enough. To overdose on nicotine you need to try very hard, in the doses used for nicotine therapy it’s rated safe for 5 years.

    However, even if it were significantly harmful, keeping the nicotine dose stable would be worthwhile if it gets rid of the far more harmful effects of smoking. Undervaluing replacement therapy because it doesn’t immediately reduce nicotine impact ignores the majority of the benefit, so let’s not do that.

    mickolas – Member

    If I was forced to justify it (like at gunpoint or something) then I would argue that if it is a hoax perpetrated by the authors, then I fail to see what it would benefit them. There is no monetary value to the discovery, and the vid is available for free. Unless it is a conspiracy involving the underground peach-growers cartel?

    What do conspiracy theorists ever gain? Some write books, some gain notoriety, but 9 times out of ten they just like conspiracy theories. Something in the human condition likes to believe we know better than experts. Sorry, “so-called experts” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    nwilko
    Member

    Stupidity maybe a disease, but calorie intake versus expenditure is proven science and resultant weight gain or loss an expected result.

    mickolas
    Member

    Northwind – by your logic, every attempt to quit is successful! Hooray!

    No matter if the quitter relapses…..I must be the most successful quitter ever (and here I thought I had only quit the one time).

    No, Northwind, if the quitter relapses, they have failed to quit. Any method they used has likewise failed.

    In making your point, you have failed.

    Actually, it notes:

    “Successful reduction was more common. In those receiving active nicotine replacement therapy, 21.8% had reduced consumption by more than 50% at final follow-up compared with 16.5% receiving placebo.”

    they are talking about cigarette consumption here, not a reduction in nicotine intake (which was the challenge I set you). So failed, again.

    The comment which you’ve quoted doesn’t say what you seem to think it does… It states that “it is unclear whether using nicotine replacement therapy without regular contact would be as effective”- not that it can’t distinguish whether the benefit is from the therapy or the contact, only that the therapy without the contact may not be as effective.

    That might seem a small difference but it’s actually huge- it’s the difference between “this might not work” and “this works, but it might not work without the associated counselling”

    If it is

    “unclear whether using nicotine replacement therapy without regular contact would be as effective”,

    then it is impossible to say that NRT without counselling works. Therefore it does not say, “this works” with reference to NRT alone. In fact I myself said

    “So to conclude, NRT with counselling = somewhat effective. without counselling = no effect. Get your head right – as I said earlier.”

    The “without counselling = no effect” bit is based on

    “do not show any long-term effect on quitting even when combined with counseling”

    and,

    “This study shows that the likelihood of relapse among smokers who have quit smoking is unrelated to whether they used NRT, or for how long, in the process of quitting. This is not a surprising observation.”.

    The only thing I will credit NRT with is the transfer of method used by victims from smoking to other means (that is the “somewhat effective”). And even that is shown by these studies to be a purely temporary effect.

    Seems like you’ve got the Hatrick. Epic fail.

    Now go and do your homework and find a study that actually supports your bluster, Northwind. And I’ll no doubt find it to be sponsored by interested parties.

    EDITED to try and make easier reading

    mickolas
    Member

    And nicotine in your body doesn’t have to kill you to be doing you harm.

    And just to make it very simple for you: The Connolly study directly compares the relapse of those who used NRT and those who didn’t. So it is relevant. A relapse is a fail. If you disagree with that, then we will have to end it there, because we are definitely singing from different hymn books.

    IanW
    Member

    Nobody is reading what you are writing.

    mickolas
    Member

    ๐Ÿ˜• but you’re right.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I guess should be content with your backpedal from “forget patches and gum etc, they are just the latest ploy by the tobacco companies to make money from you”, and “it’s patently nonsense and it’s a travesty that it is supported on the NHS!” to admitting that it is useful as part of a proper quitting approach. It’s hard enough for people to stop smoking without misinformation like that undermining them. There’s other points we could flog but that’s the job done really.

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