Is obesity a disease? A result of lifestyle? An adverse effect of medications? A symptom of a disease? What is obesity and should we be trying to define it?
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), yes we do need to define it and, yes, obesity is now a disease. This declaration has surprised some in the medical community because an advisory committee had actually advised against this new designation. But the AMA isn't the only physicians' organization to say obesity is a disease. An article was published not too long ago in the British Medical Bulletin that said the same thing. The abstract says:
A CTV article says:
Supporters argued that obesity fits the criteria of a disease, since it impairs body function and can lead to serious conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Detractors argued that obesity was more of a risk factor for other conditions, rather than a disease on its own.
To be clear, not everyone who is obese is overweight because of poor diet or lack of exercise. There are biological and medical reasons that may be the driving factor. But, we can't deny that we have a problem with obesity in our society these days that is, for many people, caused by poor diets and lack of exercise.
So, is obesity a disease? What do you think?