So in my two-day marathon migraine suffering, I was able to catch the big news of the week: obesity is now disease. The American Medical Association changed obesity status from “a major public health problem” to a chronic disease. The AMA’s hope is that insurance companies will start being able to put the resources (i.e. money) behind treatment options for obesity.
As someone who has been considered obese since the age of 16 and at one time consider morbidly obese, I have little fate in this change. I believe most doctors have long concerned obesity a disease in their patients. While I do not believe there would be a change is that doctors are still not treating obesity as the only factor. That is, they are still waiting for another risk factor (blood pressure, diabetes) which resulted from the obesity to discuss someone’s size.
A discussion came up last week for a fellow blogger “From Fatty To..” about doctors’ fear of approaching the subject of obesity (http://www.fromfattyto.com/are-doctors-being-too-nice/). She and I had similar experiences in that fact a doctor never sat me down to get to the route of my problem. Every year they would make note of my increase weight, but never said…we should get you to a nutritionist, exercise consultant, a psychologist.
If they did mention my obesity, I might have brushed them off, but it was their responsibility to mention to me their concerns before I had additional medical concerns. During my early adult years, I did not know how to take care of myself by nutrition and exercise. But every year, a doctor would brush that aside and take the opportunity to discuss the general concerns of a college woman (birth control, binge drinking) and not the concerns in which would impact me long term.
When I decided to make the change to lose weight, it was my decision. I informed my doctor of wanting to look into a nutritionist and look into the psychology effects of why I binge eat. If I was not an advocate for myself, I wonder with fear where the status of my health would be now instead of where it is.
Is obesity a disease? Yes, I do believe it is. Is it a disease in which we can break? Yes, I believe and know we can. We just need the medical profession to stand up to us, tell us to change, and provide the resources to change. If not, we will continue as a society to create unhealthy habits which impacts our society.