T Nation

Obesity Officially Declared a Disease

Unbelieveable! It looks like we can all expect the cost of health insurance to rise.

This guy is right on the money:

“This is truly a dumbing-down of the term ‘disease.’ This is the only disease that I’m familiar with that you can solve by regularly taking long walks and keeping your mouth shut,” said Rick Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a food-industry-funded advocacy group. “It’s terrible to start using taxpayer money like this when there are other legitimate diseases that need to be addressed.”

Sigh…

Just when you think we’ve hit bottom, someone throws us a shovel.

I’m thinking that disease isn’t a word, it’s two words that some halfwit put together. Dis-ease.

I say we walk around with a hammer and every time you see some fat f’r jamming crap in their face you give them a moderate reminder with your hammer that eating crap will only make them more fat:) It’s kinda like gastric bypass without the surgery.

FatSensei

(and FatSensei actually isn’t fat:)

Oh joy! Now our taxpayer dollars will be financing 3AM Twinkie runs.

And everybody wondered why I don’t have health insurance…

I am a victim of obesity. I started out at 115 in high school, but because of my hypothalmus and the signals sent to my CNS to pick up the fork and eat, I am now 315 pounds and with a bodyfat percentage of 30. There is no way I can help it, so you guys are all wrong. NAH…only playing. I agree…I think it is a joke. I think there are legitimate cases where obesity is a disease, but most are governed by environmental and lifestyle facors. The U.S. though has slowly bred a society that is ill-informed and has little regard for health. All of the commercial food takeovers, lack of appropriate and disciplined exercise, and leisurely lifestyle has definitely changed the physicality of an american grossly over the past 100 years.

Simply cure “Get off your fat ass and do something!!!”

No more problem

“the move opens the door to what is expected to be a flood of applications from individuals, doctors and companies for Medicare to begin paying for a wide variety of therapies. These include stomach surgery, diet programs, and behavioral and psychological counseling…”

I cant help notice that they will cover all of this but no mention of evercise!
-K

[quote]fatsensei wrote:

I say we walk around with a hammer and every time you see some fat f’r jamming crap in their face you give them a moderate reminder with your hammer that eating crap will only make them more fat:)[/quote]

And hey if they give you any flack for doing it, you can just say you have an enlarged medula oblongata and it forces you to beat on fat people… the police should be sensitive to your disease.

-Dave

After watching the documentary “Supersize Me,” I learned that the food industry is only interested in taking our money, and will go to any degree to take more of it. The problem is foods loaded with fats and sugars are addicting, and fatten our waistlines. The food industry is acting irresponsible, and I hope they get criminilized like the tobacco industry. Only problem is they have too much political pull. Those bastards!

If you accept this, I don’t see how you can criticize the move. We’re fat and we’re dying because of it. We’ve obviously proven unable to help ourselves, so the government has offered assistance. It will be expensive, yes, but if you’ll join me in bleeding heart liberal land for just a moment, life is worth it.

And it’s not as if we haven’t stepped around personal responsibility before. The government has bailed out segments of the population dozens of times; the New Deal, farmer subsidies, and FDIC insurance, to name a few imperfect examples within the last few generations.

It’s so very easy to see this through derisive eyes. I’m thin, you’re not, you suck. I suppose I should say something about how we’re all equal, and if the T community can eat well, then they should too. But we’re not equal.

Physical fitness is the result of a confluence of factors that vary like shells on a beach. Some will find the balance themselves. The rest, the unfortunate majority, will not without help.

Even with current weight loss methods, it still takes a great deal of sweat and desire to trim down. Joe Fatboy who doesn’t give a shit about the size of his T-shirts won’t be in line for this kind of aid; those that do apply have shown a commitment to improving themselves, and I can only applaud the effort.

DI

Everyone take a deep breath.

I had the same reaction about this article when I read it, but I saw someone from Medicare talking about it today. Their thought is that by declaring it a “disease,” they will be authorized to do something about it before it begins to manifest itself into the other problems obesity leads to. So, while this may lead to paying for gastric bypass, they believe that the money they save from reduced heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. will make up for any additional costs. I honestly think their cost-benefit analysis said this is a good idea.

That being said, there are two problems I have with it. First, I hate the idea that it just gives fat people one more excuse. Now all of those fat slobs at the Casino can sit there and talk about how they are trying to cope with their disease. They’ll also try to get special ADA benefits, such as special seating on airplanes and in the movie theaters. Think of all the things we have to do for people in wheelchairs - now fat people will want it, especially the close parking spots.

Second, (and this came from someone else, but I thought it was good) does this open the door for greater regulation of food? Look at tobacco. That was seen as causing this health problem that Medicare/Medicaid was paying for. So they went out and regulated it. They taxed it. They sued the companies. They limit where you can smoke. So what about fatty foods? Can they take your food away if your BMI is too high? Can they sue food companies? Can they require that certain foods are not available at the grocery store or that it must be out of the reach of anyone under 18? Seems like a logical step.

And while this is speculative results on a speculative idea, if they do begin to regulate food, how will they determine that? Will natural peanut butter be shelved because it’s too fatty? Will we be prevented from buying lean hamburger or chicken in bulk? What about just buying things such as olive or flax oil? What about high protein items? Are those going to be regulated because they’re supposedly bad for your kidneys?

All told, I’m not sure what I think about it. I can see the advantages, but I understand the tyranny that well meaning government can create.

Not sure yet what I think of this. I guess only time will tell, but my first reaction was “you’ve got to be f’in kidding me!” Although a couple people above have raised some very good points, so we’ll see…

I know the FDA had the MEAL bill sumitted awhile back that would require restaurants with 20+ locations to post the nutritional content of their food. I think the bill is dead (largely challenged by the Nat’l Restaurant Assoc).

What would you think of fast food restaurants printing out the nutritional info of whatever you just ordered onto a receipt that you could take with you? Do you think that would be a good educational tool for those who know nothing of nutrition or for those who track what they eat? Something I heard about recently that seems like a good idea…

[quote]fatsensei wrote:
I say we walk around with a hammer and every time you see some fat f’r jamming crap in their face you give them a moderate reminder with your hammer that eating crap will only make them more fat:) It’s kinda like gastric bypass without the surgery.
[/quote]

lets use Clubells instead

Please keep an open mind.

An anecdotal point of view…

The secondary effects of obesity, such as Adult-Onset Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease, etc., etc…are very, very costly conditions to us as taxpayers. These costs far outweigh the cost of primary prevention- being proactive and treating obesity early, before the onset of the secondary diseases. The bottom line is that we as taxpayers would eventually save money if we as a society address and treat obesity early.

I know at face value, this seems unfair to those of us who bust our butts everyday at work only to give a large portion of our blood, sweat and tears to the government and it’s programs. But remember to please keep an open mind. Treating obesity as a disease in the long-term will actually financially benefit our society, but it will take time. We must keep in mind the big picture.

Think about the cost of ONE SINGLE Heart Attack. The costs of an ER visit, IV, EKG, Lab work, Radiologic studies, Doctor services, Nurse Services, inpatient stays, cardiac catheterization/thrombolytics/or other COSTLY intervention, repeat diagnostics, home care, medications, lifestyle counseling, etc., etc… Upwards into the 5-6 figures in cost. One obese person, once he or she becomes ill with a secondary illness, has multiple crises that present to our nations ER’s and hospitals. And usually each morbidity is accompanied with multiple comorbidities which need costly medical attention. Now think about how much money we would have saved if we prevented that heart attack by educating, supporting and monitoring the progress of this same person when he or she was a fat pre-teenager or younger adult.

Now think about the cost of a primary-care-physician montoring and intervening with a child or young adult who is or is becoming obese. For example, a pediatrician caring for an obese 8-year-old…there are plenty of obese children in the U.S. today. Because the pediatrician has the label “disease” for obesity, it will far more impact this child’s parents and they may be much more willing to change their own lifestyles and the child’s lifestyles for the sake of their child. In this way the label disease can be theraputically efficacious for health care providers in encouraging lifestyle changes in patients and their families. And because the child grows up with better habits, these habits are more likely lifelong. Now there is one less person with the potential for obesity and its secondary costly diseases. Also, mom and dad and any siblings also are more aware and are more likely to adopt better habits. Hence, you have an entire family with less chances to become obese and suffer the costly secondary conditions. We all win because this will decrease our country’s financial burden secondary to disease. Think of the potential cost savings!

We also have to consider other factors, such as cultural, socioeconomic, educational, etc. For example, in some cultures they use lard in their cooking or it is rude NOT to overeat. In many cases, education and early intervention would be very beneficial.

The label “disease” for obesity will potentially impact many areas of society, most especially the mindset of our government and its decision makers. Think about the possibility of the government sponsoring programs about the disease obesity in schools and it’s impact. Think about the possibility of the government, instead of giving free cheese, butter, white carb products to low income families…instead distributing brown rice, fiber cereal and the like, along with educational materials to low-income families as it would be more politically correct. Finally think about the exciting possibility of our society working toward the common goal to wipe out obesity. We can do it!

Now that healthcare is able to call obesity a disease, society may pay better attention to the seriousness of obesity and it’s impacts on all of society.

Quick note:

Current estimates place about a 30% emphasis on genetics in cases of obesity. That’s a large fraction who can be seen as morphologically diseased.

A more cynical perspective was brought to my attention…

Suppose you’re obese. Obesity is now a disease, so your doc prescribes diet and exercise. You blow him off with a cheeto-covered finger.

Later, you find yourself up shit creek with diabetes. Your insurance company claims that they can now deny coverage because obesity is a known cause, and you ignored preventive advice. Similarly, the knee surgery you now need at the ripe age of 35 has been deemed the result of your lax attitude toward weight loss, and is thus uncovered.

Now you’re fat AND fucked.

Does this sound like an entirely unlikely scenario? I think not!

DI

I think that they should get special parking spots… heck even a whole special parking lot, across the street from the store they are going to, possibly even a parkade, thats 8 stories hihg, but you can’t park on the first two floors, and the elevator is always broken.
All close spots should be reserved for wheelchairs, REAAAAALLY old people, and fit people, cause hey, we don’t need the extra exercise, the fatties do.

-Dave