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"Should obesity be a 'disease"

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    An op-Ed in Sunday's NYT takes on the recent rebranding of obesity as an illness, rather than a moral failing:


    Authors say labeling obesity a disease has "important psychological costs." For example, those told this in a controlled experiment ate more calories from the same menu as those told it was something they could control.
  2. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    More fun with numbers.

    <i>Obese participants in the obesity-is-a-disease condition group made choices that had 7 percent more calories than obese participants in the control condition group.</i>

    So...the difference between an average (for example) of 465 calories vs. 500 calories?
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't think it's a disease.

    I also don't think alcoholism or drug addiction are diseases. I realize a lot of people disagree with that.

    Every time I hear someone say that, I feel like they're making excuses and trying to justify their shortcomings...
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member


    And that's statistically significant, no question.
  5. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    That difference, multiplied by three meals a day, 365 days a year, is about 11 pounds of extra weight per year.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Alma, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, if I may frame this debate on your terms.
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The 365 deduction is a slippery slope conclusion. A vacuum setting doesn't necessarily project to long-term behavior.

    I don't think it's a "disease" like diabetes is a disease because, IMO, it's been proven the body's need for what makes it obese can be reversed at rates much faster than alcoholism/drug addiction.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    There was an interesting article a few weeks ago somewhere in which they dug up William Howard Taft's correspondence with his doctor, mostly about his attempts to control his weight. I'm not disputing what you say, but apparently one big reason that obese people - and Taft struggled with this - have a hard time keeping weight off and not relapsing isn't simple lack of will, but because they frequently will suffer from ravenous hunger pangs for, sometimes, the rest of their lives.

    That's kind of similar to what you hear from heroin addicts - that they aren't chasing pleasure, they are chasing normal or fending off pain.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    So is pride.

    My writing those three words is about as applicable as the 18 you wrote. You took my doubts on the definitive findings of a 700-person study and projected it out to, what? That I'm pro-gluttony or pro-obesity?

    At any rate, your question was "should obesity be a disease?" My answer, on admittedly average evidence, is no. That said, I can't see a definitive conclusion on what'll happen now that it's named a disease. Perhaps it makes it easier to get medical ops coded and paid for, I dunno.
  10. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that blinding glimpse of the obvious.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Or I just like to have a little fun with your rigid moral clarity.
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    If you knew it was a slippery slope, why cite it?
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