Obesity A Disease In The Making?
If being obese means being ill, as declared by the American Medical Association, then if applicable, your doctor can now send you to a fitness weight loss camp. Or, when all else fails, put you under the knife for surgery.
So what brought on the heavy weapon of medical alliance when there is no lack of information for alerting people to the dangers of being overweight or obese according to their BMI. Or how it can affect their health now and in the future.
It shows that merely providing ideas and resources to people for managing their health better may not be enough to end the obesity crisis our society is facing.
For one thing, temptation rules. Consumer goods are steadily available and affordable. Added, more often than not we tend to eat when coping with stress, trying to keep up while rushing between meetings, jobs and family. We have no time for preparing breakfast or eating better or moving the body as it is meant to move.
Not surprising then, that statistics show only little improvement lowering the obesity rate following a 10 year initiative named “Healthy People 2010″ , a campaign established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in January 2000, now expanding into “Healthy People 2020“. How beneficial the program really is for people of different races, ages, genders, and socioeconomic groups, time will tell.
Now, June 2013, obesity is labeled as a disease. Surely, obesity is not a disease. So why then is the American Medical Association declaring it as such? Is the government raising their hands, indicating a losing battle, finally accepting the trend of ever expanding waist lines?
And why not, when there is weight loss surgery.
Yet, declaring obesity a disease seems rather like a quick fix. Meaning, medical doctors can intervene quickly if a potentially harmful future prognosis for a patient warrants it. Drug companies will profit and so will the ever thriving businesses of health care providers, and, hopefully, patients will too. But can the medical community really hold the staggering medical cost of obesity related diseases?
The center of Disease control reports ” In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.” http://www.cdc.gov/
The 2001 Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity was released in the face of finding that each year, 300,000 premature deaths and $117 billion in direct and indirect costs were attributable to overweight and obesity.
In February 2009, the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, announced an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, and has established the “Let’s Move” initiative designed to engages every sector of society that impacts children.
Meanwhile, if our society doesn’t have to endure a great depression like in the 1930s, or must experience a sugar shortage or fast fatty foods outage, the trend of gaining weight in adults as well as children is likely to rise.
Merit promises Michelle Obama‘s healthy lunch and exercise school initiatives. The program takes into account social, environmental, as well psychological factors.
The “Let’s move” initiative can change the thinking in society about food and physical education and forming habits, thus lowering the number of obese people, if only slowly. It is a plan that involves kids and parents, grandparents, and care-givers and schools, the food industry and media alike. A natural process where making better choices can end up on your daily list to do.
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Compare her program to a medical regimen of prescription pills and surgery for preventing health conditions such as hypertension, adverse lipid concentrations and type 2 diabetes. All increased risk factors which are caused by obesity as stated by the Center for Disease Control.
Such prognosis is scary enough for most people needing to lose weight to prevent a possible health crisis. For some people medical help seems to be the only option. Weight loss surgery for some might be the only option and must be considered carefully. Although, this procedure won’t leave you off the hook for living a healthy and active life ever after.
Overall, we all must manage our health better. Eating calorie dense foods on the go too often, instead of thoughtfully preparing a meal at home, could cause havoc to the body. Not exercising causes problems. Medical help could also cause problems. Further more, I would argue, medical help can only do so much. And only if they first address the source of the problem a person faces, before prescribing slimming pills or scheduling surgery.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the doctor sends us to a fitness and weight loss summer camp? Us or our kids? Insurance paid?
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