Do you consider Obesity a disease?

In the fitness community people has been getting upset about this. Apparently now obesity is considered a disease which I find stupid. A disease would be an illness that you can't help, and obesity would be from people's poor eating habits. It just doesn't have nothing in common and it's giving overweight people excuses. People can't just be naive of why they're overweight.

Complaining and making excuses doesn't make any progress. Losing weight is tough, but if left uncheck it will comeback to haunt you. On top of that trying to get sympathy from other people will only work for so long. Especially if your procrastinating and not even trying to lose weight.

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Posted by believer258

Eh, I don't know. I think I'd be more likely to consider it a symptom of something else, from sheer laziness to extreme depression and anxiety to eating disorders, etc. I don't know if the fat itself is a "disease" in the sense that it comes from bad, mutated cells like cancer or transmitted from person to person like AID's and HIV or germs and viruses, etc. Fat isn't really an abnormal part of the body, it's the expected thing when you eat too much shitty food and don't work it off.

But then, I'm an English major and not a biologist, so maybe I'm completely wrong.

Posted by matti00

I don't consider it a disease, but I do believe that people can become dependent on food for happiness/comfort/whatever, and that is something that should be taken seriously.

Treat the cause, not the symptoms as they say.

Posted by TheHBK

Well yes. A disease is just something that is not normal with the body and can be caused by different things. But the way some people talk about it, fuck no. A disease to me is typically something that you are afflicted by and not of your own doing.

I guess I wonder why is it that we need to accept all for what and who they are? Isn't being fat, barring some grave medical condition, typically the result of being lazy and overeating? Doesn't that say something about who you are as a person? They say don't judge a book by its cover but when the cover is some shit that someone printed at home or plain tells you, this book sucks ass, then maybe judging is appropriate.

Posted by Carryboy

I dont know, would you consider type 2 diabetes a disease?

Posted by Seppli

Well, I consider gluttony and laziness deadly sins (because they are). So Obesity is more of a character flaw to me. At least if it's the result of gluttony and laziness (which it almost always is).

Posted by jimmy_p

A disease would be an illness that you can't help

Some part of it can be attributed to genes though. Although the cutoff line at what Body mass index the American Medical Association considers to be obesity is another problem. (hint: its ridiculous)

Posted by Shivoa

Disease narrow definition or disease wide definition?

Follow up question, do you consider depression to be a disease? Have you ever thought that someone who is depressed should just "suck it up"? Do you blame people who are suicidal for taking their own life? Are you an expert in this matter?

Posted by thomasnash

Maybe the problem is that people understand "disease" to mean "something that can't be helped" whereas the medical community probably means it to mean "an abnormality that needs to be addressed," either through the use of medication or a diet or whatever.

Also, I know pedantry makes for poor argumentation, but I think the definitions of "disease" in my OED support this classification: a "disorder of structure or function...[which can] threaten to produce detectable illness or disorder." It's also been used since the early 16th century to mean "a bad quality, habit or disposition regarded as affecting or having a hold on a person," although this is a figurative use so may not be applicable.

I think obesity certainly fits within both of those definitions. The key is to make sure that making the reclassification is for the purpose of underlining that you can do something about it.

Posted by Stonyman65

I kind of see it both ways - I'm a big guy, and most of the people in my family or big so you could say that I'm predisposed to that.

On the other hand, I know several people who are in the same boat as me but they have lost the weight and have kept it off. And they did it all trough discipline and a total lifestyle change.

So, I guess it really depends on the person.

Edited by OurSin_360

In some cases, yes.

Posted by falserelic

@shivoa said:

Disease narrow definition or disease wide definition?

Follow up question, do you consider depression to be a disease? Have you ever thought that someone who is depressed should just "suck it up"? Do you blame people who are suicidal for taking their own life? Are you an expert in this matter?

I just don't like the way ''disease'' is being used for obesity. I used to be obese, but changed my life style and got the weight off. They're making it seem like its an illness that can't be help. As for depression we all go through with it. I don't consider it a disease, but just someone's state of mind.

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Posted by mrpandaman

Maybe the problem is that people understand "disease" to mean "something that can't be helped" whereas the medical community probably means it to mean "an abnormality that needs to be addressed," either through the use of medication or a diet or whatever.

Also, I know pedantry makes for poor argumentation, but I think the definitions of "disease" in my OED support this classification: a "disorder of structure or function...[which can] threaten to produce detectable illness or disorder." It's also been used since the early 16th century to mean "a bad quality, habit or disposition regarded as affecting or having a hold on a person," although this is a figurative use so may not be applicable.

I think obesity certainly fits within both of those definitions. The key is to make sure that making the reclassification is for the purpose of underlining that you can do something about it.

I think you're right though, even if you think it makes for "poor" arguments, it comes down to the small differences in definition people have. By proper dictionary defined definition of disease, obesity can be considered a disease.

Posted by JasonR86

I think worrying about semantics in terms of health is silly. The bottom line, being overweight is unhealthy, is the point. Who cares how we categorize it. This is why I hate talking about mental health diagnoses in my field. At some point it doesn't matter.

Posted by falserelic

@jasonr86 said:

I think worrying about semantics in terms of health is silly. The bottom line, being overweight is unhealthy, is the point. Who cares how we categorize it. This is why I hate talking about mental health diagnoses in my field. At some point it doesn't matter.

Quick Question.

Have you had patients that came to you, because they were depress about their weight?

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Posted by Jams

Hey look! Somebody who thinks they're an expert in everything ever.

Posted by Shivoa

@falserelic: Ok, then I'd not call it a disease but a medical disorder (wide definition it would get referred to as a disease as an umbrella term). Diagnosis and then intervention (working out underlying issues, creating a plan of action for the patient, helping them to maintain that plan, providing expertise for anyone who is supporting the patient) rather than derision or blaming the person involved is probably what you'll find medical experts looking for as the answer to this major health concern.

Depression is a mental disorder, it isn't something everyone gets when they feel a bit low. I would look up what your government provides in terms of education about mental health, it might open your eyes to the current state of discussion about health concerns.

Posted by JasonR86

@falserelic:

I have. Weight can cause all sorts of psychological and medical problems as well as lead to addictive behaviors. I've personally seen all three.

Posted by BabyChooChoo

I wouldn't necessarily use the term "disease," but I would definitely say it's unhealthy. Plain and simple.

Edited by punkxblaze

I consider it a symptom or perhaps side effect of disease, but a disease itself, with no causation aside from being a lazy fuck, no, I don't. As a type-1 diabetic with an actual disease that I had no hand in, nor could I have affected, I'm actually a little insulted by the idea of obesity being classified as a disease.

Posted by falserelic

These guys says it best..

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Edited by Ares42

This might just be semantics, but isn't it more of an illness than a disease ? I would say obesity has more in common with repetitive stress injuries than actual diseases. It's sorta like having a bad back because of bad posture. It didn't happen quickly, but over a long time you have treated your body in a way that ultimately started to break it down.

Edited by Mcfart

Yeah, something along that vein. Some people can eat like an obese person and not get obese, while others can't. It is clearly a malfunction with the body.

Edited by phantomzxro

No, i don't think it is but i do believe people can have eating disorders which could cause obesity.

Posted by Korwin

@shivoa said:

Disease narrow definition or disease wide definition?

Follow up question, do you consider depression to be a disease? Have you ever thought that someone who is depressed should just "suck it up"? Do you blame people who are suicidal for taking their own life? Are you an expert in this matter?

As a person who has both depression and was once very overweight I can tell you that one of these things is not like the other.

Posted by Korwin

As far as it being as disease, Obesity can easily be classified under the morbidity category. The label only appears wrong due to a matter of public perception of the term disease, but there isn't anything technically wrong as labelling it as such. People just need to be wary of other abusing that same perception to enable their own weight problems.

Posted by ReCkLeSs_X

Regardless of the categorization, it's definitely a serious issue that warrants some notoriety.

Edited by Sergio

No. It's more of a disorder, and may be symptom of a disease.

Posted by GreggD

These guys says it best..

I'm sorry, but these guys seem like total douchebags.

Edited by Colourful_Hippie
@falserelic said:

These guys says it best..

You know someone is grasping for straws when he has to consult the youtube "experts".

Posted by Gamer_152

The definition of disease certainly isn't "Something you can't help". People shouldn't ignore the health risks associated with obesity, but I see this as the opposite of that. Calling obesity a disease identifies it as something wrong with the body, something that needs to be treated, it's about as far as you can possibly be from saying "This is something you don't need to worry about and needs no attention".

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Posted by troll93

The definition of disease certainly isn't "Something you can't help". People shouldn't ignore the health risks associated with obesity, but I see this as the opposite of that. Calling obesity a disease identifies it as something wrong with the body, something that needs to be treated, it's about as far as you can possibly be from saying "This is something you don't need to worry about and needs no attention".

This is very good and clear answer to your statement.

Skin cancers are a disease, you would have a hard time finding someone to disagree with that, yet I am able to prevent them with about the same efficiency as I am able to prevent obesity i.e. risk of is increased/decreased by various genetic factors. If you claim that obesity isn't a disease, do you also claim skin cancers are not a disease?

Edited by mlarrabee

Some people are naturally inclined toward obesity, whether mentally or physically, just like alcohol or drugs. But when it comes down to the wire, we all choose what we want.

Is it "an abnormality in the body of an organism"? Sure. (Well, except it's not abnormal anymore ... .) But dependancies and obesity can be entirely prevented by a strong will and a single word: no.

EDIT: And the AMA is clearly "spinning." There is no new information about fat cells or body fat storage. Obesity is clearly understood and is treatable, but as a disease it is suddenly much more profitable.

Posted by GunslingerPanda

I'm not educated enough in medicine to know if obesity is a disease so I can't say anything about it. = What all of you should be saying.

Posted by golguin

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Posted by Grissefar
@seppli said:

Well, I consider gluttony and laziness deadly sins (because they are). So Obesity is more of a character flaw to me. At least if it's the result of gluttony and laziness (which it almost always is).

lol

@falserelic said:

These guys says it best..

You know someone is grasping for straws when he has to consult the "youtube" experts.

Wow what an inelegant way to argue about a subject, post a random youtube video. At least have it be a cool one man.

I remember seeing him in GTA IV man that was great.

Edited by ll_Exile_ll

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Posted by Shivoa

@mlarrabee said:

EDIT: And the AMA is clearly "spinning." There is no new information about fat cells or body fat storage. Obesity is clearly understood and is treatable, but as a disease it is suddenly much more profitable.

Unless it isn't. As the author of that summary says, this is far from a conclusive finding to trigger the warm fuzzy of finding an 'aha!' moment but it also isn't some discredited idea outside of the current scientific discussion on obesity.

Many people are surely obese due to choices (choices possibly like smokers make, where their body is making a pretty good argument in terms of rewards and punishments for keeping on with this unhealthy lifestyle and these level of rewards and punishments are not universal so if you found it easy to 'quit' or lose the lbs then you can't generalise to others and say they're weak willed - it is not that simple). There is probably some genetic factors going on giving some people a more efficient ability to process their food while others have better ability to convert the fat back when they need energy. And there is this chance that for some people an actual narrow definition of the word (infectious) disease is at least a significant contributing factor.

And it isn't some decades old understood issue for which there is no interesting ongoing research. There are good plans of attack that are essential for governments to implement to tackle this as a general health issue, and a lot of that is getting people to exercise more and eat less (and especially eat less food that is not good for them to get a balanced diet including all the things they need). But the attitude that this is something where ridicule is the answer is known to not work (I wonder what happens to the portion of the obese population who are comfort eaters when people got at them; hmmm, maybe that isn't helping the problem). And the big picture is more complicated than you think.

Posted by mlarrabee

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

They do.

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Spoken like a true ignorant on the subject matter. If that's how you're going to classify diseases then you better take skin cancer off the disease list too.

Posted by Shivoa

@ll_exile_ll said:

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

You just described exactly the viewpoint in less enlightened times for all mental health issues. "Which organ isn't working properly?" "The brain! Oh, we don't understand how that works or how to fix it directly so why don't we pretend it isn't really broken and tell the person it is their fault and they just need to use their willpower to fix it."

And then slowly we started to get glimpses into how the brain is working and the activities going on that are still not perfectly understood but seem to lead down some avenues where we can see activity that isn't typical and the associated mental health issue that it is causing. And the plan of action to take is refined, better feedback on what is and isn't working for the individual patient can be generated from better understanding what is going on. Medicines can be developed to help with the biochemistry of what we understand to be happening and the situation today with mental health is a lot better than it was a generation ago and completely transformed from two generations ago.

It is highly unlikely all obesity is tied to mental health causes, but telling everyone who is obese to "suck it up and use their willpower reserves for once in their gorram life!" That's not the answer, that's not helping.

Posted by golguin

@ll_exile_ll said:

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Spoken like a true ignorant on the subject matter. If that's how you're going to classify diseases then you better take skin cancer off the disease list too.

If you don't want to be an alcoholic don't drink alcohol.

If you don't want to be obese don't eat more calories than you can use up.

If you don't want cancer make sure your cells don't mutate and grow uncontrollably.

One of those things is not like the other.

Edited by Colourful_Hippie

@golguin said:

@colourful_hippie said:

@ll_exile_ll said:

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Spoken like a true ignorant on the subject matter. If that's how you're going to classify diseases then you better take skin cancer off the disease list too.

If you don't want to be an alcoholic don't drink alcohol.

If you don't want to be obese don't eat more calories than you can use up.

If you don't want cancer make sure your cells don't mutate and grow uncontrollably.

One of those things is not like the other.

skin cancer can be prevented by not being an idiot in strong direct sunlight, but sure go ahead and take the cancer part out of context.

@ll_exile_ll: Read again instead of having another misinformed guy who is using flawed logic speak for you.

and those mental "issues" that can be resolved over time are also considered to be diseases too. Stop cherry picking for the sake of trying to support something on a terrible foundation.

Posted by ll_Exile_ll

@ll_exile_ll said:

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Spoken like a true ignorant on the subject matter. If that's how you're going to classify diseases then you better take skin cancer off the disease list too.

Last time I checked you can't cure cancer by choosing not to have it anymore. There may mental and psychological issues contributing to obesity and alcoholism, but you can still get over them with nothing more than a change in lifestyle .

You may be able to mitigate your risk for certain types of cancer, but if you are diagnosed your only option is medical treatment. If cancer could cured by something as simple as diet and exercise, the population of this planet would be significantly higher.

@golguin said:

If you don't want to be an alcoholic don't drink alcohol.

If you don't want to be obese don't eat more calories than you can use up.

If you don't want cancer make sure your cells don't mutate and grow uncontrollably.

One of those things is not like the other.

Precisely.

Edited by golguin

@golguin said:

@colourful_hippie said:

@ll_exile_ll said:

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Spoken like a true ignorant on the subject matter. If that's how you're going to classify diseases then you better take skin cancer off the disease list too.

If you don't want to be an alcoholic don't drink alcohol.

If you don't want to be obese don't eat more calories than you can use up.

If you don't want cancer make sure your cells don't mutate and grow uncontrollably.

One of those things is not like the other.

skin cancer can be prevented by not being an idiot in strong direct sunlight, but sure go ahead and take the cancer part out of context.

What does it mean to be an idiot in strong direct sunlight? I hope you're not suggesting that you can prevent someone from getting skin cancer.

Posted by benspyda

A disease just means something that has a negative impact on you body. It's a super broad term, it just depends on how its used, whether its used medically or as an insult I guess.

Edited by Colourful_Hippie

@golguin said:

@colourful_hippie said:

@golguin said:

@colourful_hippie said:

@ll_exile_ll said:

It's absolutely not a disease, maybe in some cases the result of some psychological issues, but certainly not a disease. You can not choose to cure yourself of a disease, you can choose to overcome obesity.

@golguin said:

Isn't calling obesity a disease the same thing as calling alcoholism a disease?

Exactly. I feel like in both cases referring to these conditions as diseases is a means of letting those that suffer from them not take responsibility. There can be many causes for these conditions, but the "cure" for both is willpower and a little effort.

Spoken like a true ignorant on the subject matter. If that's how you're going to classify diseases then you better take skin cancer off the disease list too.

If you don't want to be an alcoholic don't drink alcohol.

If you don't want to be obese don't eat more calories than you can use up.

If you don't want cancer make sure your cells don't mutate and grow uncontrollably.

One of those things is not like the other.

skin cancer can be prevented by not being an idiot in strong direct sunlight, but sure go ahead and take the cancer part out of context.

What does it mean to be an idiot in strong direct sunlight? I hope you're not suggesting that you can prevent someone from getting skin cancer.

Don't quote me on this but I heard that sunblock can be a life saver

Posted by Viking_Funeral

In the same way alcoholism or non-biology based psychological illnesses can be called diseases, yeah.

@golguin said:

If you don't want to be an alcoholic don't drink alcohol.

Alcohol is one of the three addictions that can kill you if you're seriously addicted and don't seek medical attention --- alcohol, benzos, and (some) opiates.

Anything else you can survive going cold turkey on. Oddly enough, most opiates aren't fatal to go cold turkey on , like heroin, but the drug they give to come down off heroin gently, methadone, can kill you if you go from a high dose to cold turkey. Weird, huh?

Edited by Shivoa

@golguin: If you don't drink, you're still an alcoholic. That's kinda the point endlessly reinforced by popular culture about this issue.

I would almost find it funny to think of you running round a cancer ward quizzing people on how much they avoided the Sun and wore UV blocker at all times outside, taking joy in blaming victims. But I live in a country with a rising problem that makes such jokey images no laughing matter.

Posted by Breadfan

I'm not educated enough in medicine to know if obesity is a disease so I can't say anything about it. = What all of you should be saying.

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