Just this past week the American Medical Association deemed that obesity is a disease. This most recent declaration has not gone over without massive controversy and debate. People from both sides of the issue are boiling because of what it could mean, not just for people who are dealing with obesity, but for those who could eventually be classified as obese or those for whom see the dollars that hang in the balance in light of the Obamacare.
What is so disconcerting is people’s blanket assumptions that obesity is something that can be remedied by simply taking a fork out of the hands of those who are overweight. Like smoking, drinking, and other things people become addicted to, no one says just take the offending object of addiction away and all will be better. Through years of study, we know that there is a deeper issue that lies beneath it.
Obesity is a battle that begins in the mind. Fears, phobias, or whatever you want to call it; these are what rule the lives of those who are overcome by the weight of this disorder. I call it a disorder because the body truly is a machine that is out of proper function and order. Cars have become much more complex than the days of their origination. More than ever, they are operated by computers. When something goes awry, there are no quick fixes and the diagnostics that must be done requires specialists. People who suffer with obesity have complex minds and issues that have contributed just as much to their increase in size, if not more than that of what they have ingested.
When will we love people enough to look beyond what appears on the surface? When do we say, that there must be another perspective that we’re missing? If it were as easy as eating the right foods or exercising to the point of no return, then the whole world would be fit as a fiddle. It’s not that cut and dry and I think people need a wake up call to this.
I’m not speaking as one who has a problem with weight-loss, but as one who has watched his wife battle long and hard since the day we first met, to get the weight off. My wife is classified as morbidly obese. That means that she is not simply dealing with that 5-50 pound weight problem that most of the world caters to; she is dealing with being nearly three times what doctors say is normal for her height and gender.
If there is anything we’ve learned over the last few months as a couple is that even in the process of working with specialists, all of the best tools that would give her the best chances to fight this fight are clearly out of reach when you don’t have the right insurance. What’s worse, is that by being unemployed, any hope of obtaining it becomes nearly impossible because people choose not to see beyond what they can see.
I challenge everyone to look deeper than the surface of this report by the AMA and see what’s really at stake. Are we so crass as to say , “They ate themselves to the point of death, so let them die”; or are we going to rise up and say, “What part can I play in helping my brother or sister to live?” If it takes classifying it as a disease to be taken serious, let’s get to the task of helping, not adding to the problem.
QUESTION: What do you think people are really afraid of by this latest AMA assessment?
- The American Medical Association has declared obesity a disease (io9.com)
- In controversial vote, American Medical Association declares obesity ‘a disease’ (theverge.com)
- AMA calls obesity a disease (utsandiego.com)
- Obesity as a Disease?? | AMA Council (mystrongmedicine.com)
- Americans fatter than ever, obesity officially called a ‘disease’ (usahitman.com)
- Obesity Now Officially a Disease (newser.com)
- American Medical Association Classifying Obesity As A Disease (wibw.com)