Friday, 28 June 2013

Who Ate All The Pies

Apparently Doctors in the US have decided that being a 'fat bastard' (aka morbidly obese), is no longer a personal responsibility issue, but is in fact to be classed as a 'disease' - on the par in fact with cancer.

The approved measure as voted on by the American Medical Association was "RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association recognise obesity as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention."

American Medical Association After You!

Now definitions of fatness and obesity have varied over the centuries, cultures and especially in the West over the last few decades, as creeping 'political correctness' has placed its death like grip over the language. The most common measure of obesity these days, is the fatally flawed. Body Mass Index (BMI). This looks at a person's weight divided by height, squared. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. It often labels muscle-heavy professional athletes as obese, with Rugby players for example all classed as 'obese' or worse, when in fact they are super fit.

Diseased or Fat?

Obesity should of course be worked out via a persons ratio of fat to muscle - so that those who may have a slim frame, but a high percentage of dangerous body fat, are not still classified as "average weight", which is the case under BMI.

The reasons for this sudden disease classification are also rather suspect, given the US context. Health care in the US is largely paid for via private insurance schemes via the employer / unions / or private individuals, so opening up a brand new avenue of 'disease', for treatment, one which 'afflicts' 35% of the US population, has to be good business for the medical profession. So undoubtedly there is a large element of self interest in tapping this 'lard lake', especially as its one that will probably never dry up.

Of course they can't admit to this, so there are lots of wishy washy noises about expecting that this will lead to better 'treatment' (better dieting and exercise????), and the focus on obesity treatment and prevention. But apparently insurance companies are under no obligation to cover obesity prevention and treatments - certainly not without substantial hikes in insurance premiums. After all, any decision that at a stroke classifies a third of the US population as 'diseased' has consequences.

Of course this is not a completely isolated medical stance. 'Alcoholism' for example (and other Drug abuses), are treated as a disease rather then a lack of self control .... but strangely this hasn't resulted in any serious reduction in the number of people who have these 'diseases' ... so why obesity would be different, is hard to fathom.

The real illness in our society is the creeping removal of self responsibility via the illness that is Political Correctness .... we are becoming a society that blames everyone else for our personal failures.


  1. Good piece. However I'm confused about the penultimate paragraph where you wonder why the defining of these conditions as diseases hasn't resulted in any reduction in the number of cases? Why should it? If anything this would only result in an increase as more people are diagnosed with the new 'disease'.

    1. The post is suggesting that the claim by the AMA, that by classing something as a 'disease' it would result in better 'treatment', and therefore better outcomes i.e. cures and a fall inn numbers is false.

      That in fact the evidence is rather the opposite and that when other addictive behaviours such as alcoholism were classed as 'diseases', rather than personal weaknesses (for much the same 'medical' reasons), then the number of Alcoholics | drug addicts actually rose rather than decreased. Therefore the reasons for the AMA decision must be treated as suspect in purpose .....

  2. Yes, I thought that that was the gist. Instead of defining all the symptoms of a lack of self-control and/or responsibility, the cause should be defined as a medical condition so that, should you be diagnosed with it you'd have your driving license revoked and any other responsible activity put on hold until you have it under control. Maybe then, less people would be running to their GP for a sick-note?

    1. I was a 30 a day smoker for over 30 years. I think its fair to say that I was addicted! I didn't blame others and more importantly I chose to stop.

      None of this patches or ecigs nonsense, just cold turkey and a small amount of will power ..... I have no sympathy at all with people who eat too much every day .... It's not an illness, unless spinelessness is an illness.


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