Obesity As a Disease

The AMA has officially classified obesity as a disease. Because it is now a recognized disease, it will be more difficult to defend being overweight as OK. Welcoming a disease is not healthy or smart.

While I have been harshly critical of anti-obesity bias, hate and discrimination, I have also faulted “fat acceptance”.  Rather than help overweight people accept themselves while solving their obesity problem, some would have obese people suffer ill health and feel OK while doing nothing to change it. That will be more difficult now. Having a disease without trying to fix it is pathological in itself.

However, we need to remember that the obesity epidemic has been brought on by changes in our culture, environment and behavior. The quadrupling of the obesity rate in children was not caused by something that drugs or surgery will change. Most of the praise of the AMA’s decision is saying it is a good thing because surgery and drugs are more likely to be covered by insurance. The rush to have insurance pay for drugs and surgery to treat obesity needs to be examined. Is it about money or health?

Whether you see a behavior therapist, go to groups like OA or WW, or read science based books like mine,  if you are real overweight, you now need to confront the fact that you have a disease that needs to be addressed. That’s the best outcome of the AMA’s decision to label obesity a disease.

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