Funny timing, not twelve hours after I released my video on fat acceptance, The American Medical Association (AMA) released its statement that they now consider obesity to be a disease. It took me several days and numerous pillow-screams before I could calm down enough to write about this sad day. Why am I sad? Glad you asked.
- There is a strong link between education and obesity, the more educated you are the less likely you are to be obese. So take a group of less educated folks and tell them that their obesity is a disease and what is the most likely reaction? “I told you it wasn’t my fault”. These folks often do not understand nutrition and therefore think that they eat “nothing” and still get fat when the truth is they just don’t understand the caloric content of what they are eating. By telling them that they have a disease, many of them wont bother taking the common sense steps that could make them healthy.
- Its not clear to me that this will help anyone. By declaring obesity as a disease its going to make it a lot easier for obese people to get insurance to pay for expensive gastric surgeries but I am not convinced that the long term results are positive. I personally know two people who have had stomach stapling and it helped both in the short term but after 5 years they were just as fat as before. Apparently they learned how to defeat their smaller stomach by constantly grazing on high caloric density foods. This is obviously anecdotal but, the point remains that I am unconvinced on the long term health benefits of such surgeries when compared to the lifestyle changes of eating healthier and exercising more.
- The additional burden to healthcare costs is not one we can afford. Our healthcare system cant even provide preventive medicine for the population, how on earth are we going to afford all of the stomach surgeries to “cure” the obesity? By my estimates, this will cost 108 billion dollars annually which is $432 for every man, woman, and child to provide these obesity “cures”.
- Rather than spending that 108 Billion dollars a year on gastric surgeries, I have a much better idea. Lets spend that money on making sure that we teach our kids about nutrition, provide recreational facilities so people can safely exercise, provide infrastructure for bike commuting, provide walkways for pedestrians, therapy for compulsive eaters, and provide after school athletic programs for kids. Active people who understand nutrition will be healthier and less expensive for the health care system. We can spend one dollar helping people be healthy or we can spend ten dollars fixing the damage caused by neglect.
The root of our problem in America is that there is too much money in politics. Because our politicians election campaigns are so heavily financed, either directly or indirectly, by money from big business, its no surprise that the agendas of big business often take precedence over the needs of the citizens. The healthcare industry is one of the largest, most influential groups in politics because it is such a large percent of our GNP.
sick people are good for business.
This is a common sight at all you can eat restaurants. For those of you still thinking that obesity is truly a disease, try this. Walk around a restaurant and compare what obese people are eating to that what slim people are ordering and eating. Olive garden gives all you can eat salad and all you can eat very greasy, cheesy breadsticks. Our table ordered a second free bowl of salad, the table behind us ordered a second free basket of greasy breadsticks. As I mention time and time again, when it comes to losing weight, small choices add up to big difference over time.