American Medical Association: Obesity as a Dicease Essay

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Is it true that over a third of Americans are diseased? The American Medical Association, AMA, has officially recognized obesity as a disease. Obesity is defined as “a condition that is characterized by excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body and that in an adult is typically indicated by a body mass index of thirty or greater” (“Is Obesity a Disease”). The debate over whether it is a disease still rises up today as obesity rates and the costs of treating obesity-related conditions increase in the United States. Many supporters stress that obesity is in fact a disease because they believe it is a result of genetics and biological factors. Opponents, on the other hand, argue that obesity is not a disease because it is a result …show more content…
It is just a matter of what a person eats and what their exercise routines are determines self control. What exactly constitutes a disease though? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a disease is a “pathological condition resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms” (Hawley). This definition implies that people bear no responsibility for being overweight, as though is occurs randomly. Obesity is not something that happens randomly. It is a matter of self control and choosing to live a sedentary lifestyle in which involves making bad dietary decisions and/or not having enough exercise. Obesity may lead to certain diseases, but is not one itself. Geoffrey Kabat, an epidemiologist, thinks labeling obesity as a disease is a big mistake. He said, “We do need medicine to treat obesity, but more often than not, it is lifestyle medicine. Lifestyle is the best medicine we’ve got – but it is cultural medicine, not clinical” (Kabat). While all diseases are treated clinically, obesity does not apply. It should be perceived as normal because it does not share the same characteristics as an actual disease, like cancer. For example, a person with a form of cancer, like breast cancer would have received it genetically and cannot cure it through “normal” means. Normal means

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