Is Obesity a Disease?


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Is Obesity a Disease?

Obesity puts people atِ risk forِ a wholeِ host ofِ conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure andِ sleep problems.
But isِ obesity itselfِ a disease.
Some sayِ obesity isِ indeedِ a disease, withِ causesِ beyondِ eating tooِ muchِ andِ exercising tooِ little, andِ consequences thatِ harm theِ body likeِ anyِ medical condition.

Why some say obesity is a disease

A disease isِ generally thought ofِ asِ anِ abnormal state, orِ a condition thatِ prevents theِ body fromِ functioning properly.
During theِ AMA meeting, doctors pointed outِ that inِ some cases, people haveِ underlying abnormalities thatِ causeِ them toِ beِ obese, saidِ Dr.
Scott Kahan, a preventive medicine physician atِ Johns Hopkins University.

Only a risk factor

Others sayِ that, whileِ obesity isِ a risk factor forِ many medical conditions, carrying extra pounds doesِ not destine people toِ develop thoseِ diseases.
In fact, someِ people canِ beِ obese andِ healthy, andِ live a normal life, Cohen said.
There’s noِ question thatِ obesity] isِ one ofِ the mostِ important public health problems facing America.

Others agreed.

We didِ not wantِ toِ makeِ society moreِ ill overall, byِ labeling obesity asِ a disease ifِ that label isِ not warranted, Madejski said.
Obese people mayِ alsoِ be stigmatized, orِ mayِ suffer psychological consequences ifِ they areِ labeled asِ having a disease, Madejski said.
However, Kahan saidِ referring toِ obesity asِ a disease mayِ actuallyِ remove someِ ofِ itsِ stigma, becauseِ it couldِ highlight theِ fact thatِ obesity isِ not necessarily caused byِ a lack ofِ willpower.

Improving care

Regardless ofِ whether obesity isِ referred toِ asِ a disease, theِ care ofِ obese patients needsِ improvement, experts said.
For instance, medical schools shouldِ change theِ way theyِ teach students soِ they areِ better able toِ treat obese patients, Kahan said.
When people getِ care, theyِ getِ a lot ofِ finger-wagging, andِ advice toِ eat this, notِ that, Kahan said.

Obese patients should also be able to visit doctors who specialize in the condition.

If youِ haveِ diabetes orِ anyِ other medical disorder … youِ wouldِ beِ treated byِ people withِ appropriate background toِ helpِ you, Kahan said.

Pass it on:  Doctors are split on whether obesity should be considered a disease.

This story wasِ providedِ byِ MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site toِ LiveScience.
Follow Rachael Rettner onِ Twitter @RachaelRettner, orِ MyHealthNewsDaily @MyHealth_MHND.
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