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(USA Today)   Fat people rejoice as obesity is now classified as a disease. A delicious fried disease covered with cheese and gravy   ( usatoday.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, obesity, diseases, cancer types, heart disease, American Medical Association  
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1393 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Jun 2013 at 12:50 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-06-19 01:03:09 PM  
6 votes:
I suppose classifying it as a disease is no different than classifying alcohol-related cirrhosis as a disease - yes, it is caused by behavior and preventable by behavior modification, but once you've got it, it *is* a disease...

It's like saying sports-related injuries aren't real injuries because you did it to yourself. The reasons behind how or why you got a disease are irrelevant once you've got it.
2013-06-19 01:14:50 PM  
3 votes:
I've read a lot on the subject and I am of two minds. On the one hand, the obesity is largely a lifestyle/social issue. We are too fat because of all the mechanisms that pump extra calories into us, ranging from government subsidies and programmes to promote excess production, excess consumption, and low prices for certain commodities (notably corn, soybeans, meat, etc.), while individual obesity is down to evolutionary traps (such as our natural cravings for salt, fat, oils, sugars, etc.) and genetic or congenital factors.

Obesity is one of those phenomenon that is naturally multi-disciplinary: it is at once genetic, epigenetic, congenital, personal, familial, social and political.

How you eat, what you eat, when you eat, why you eat, and how much you eat are all influenced by a myriad of factors. Causation is seldom simple in the real world. Rather than one cause, one effect, a large number of "causes" combine to produce a large number of "effects", which interplay with each other until naming a culprit becomes futile if not impossible.

Yes, we eat too much. But we need to work at all levels, from the global to the personal, to avoid this.

We are not well-designed. Our environments are not well-designed. Our science, although helpful, is not always well-designed. Many studies are just too biased or too small to be useful. We are flooded with misinformation because scientists, university and government PR departments, and journalists don't do their jobs very well. And we don't do our jobs as consumers and readers very well either.

Obesity is not a disease (except when it is). It is more of a syndrome or a political issue that needs to be addressed at many levels of organization, by many institutions, with many ideas and varied values.

It is really complex, perhaps almost chaotic, because small things count in large amounts.
2013-06-19 01:09:42 PM  
2 votes:

GiantRex: As a fat person myself, this is ridiculous. Obesity is not a disease and it does not deserve to be treated as such. It is, at most, a mental problem. Unlike real diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, obesity can be overcome with tenacity and self-control. Eat less, move more.

/excusing myself to go be fat somewhere else

Just because a disease is easily preventable and easily treatable does not mean it isn't a disease.

Your fat ass is diseased.
2013-06-19 03:37:21 PM  
1 vote:

burning_bridge: Yeah?  And it exists.  It's here.  Do we do something about it?  Or do we ignore it.  Because something isn't working.  SOMETHING ISN'T WORKING.  Half your freakin population doesn't just get fat.  People are the same as they've always been.  People today aren't more stupid or less willful.  They're just as dumb and ignorant, or brilliant and thoughtful, as they've always been.  People are the same as in the days of ancient Rome, yet they didn't have this problem.  WHAT CHANGED?  And do we DO something about it?

Yes - something did change.
http://en.mercopress.com/2011/06/30/us-daily-calorie-intake-up-30-in -3 0-years-cut-on-snacks-and-king-size-portion
US daily calorie intake up 30% in 30 years: cut on snacks and king size portion

There is no huge mystery or government conspiracy.  We understand what's going on.  We're eating more.  Food is cheap, abundant, and we *like* unhealthy food.  Nobody forced me to super-size my #3 meal at McDonald's - I WENT to McDonald's because I wanted greasy, cheap, abundant food.

The answer?  What do we do about it?  We, as individuals, decide to either eat less, or move more.  Or, wait for science to come up with some drug that prevents us from absorbing the food we eat (actually, science has had some success - but people didn't like the diarrhea that followed their high-fat feasts...)

But really - this is well known and well understood.

*  "Fast food servings, for example, are 2 to 5 times larger than they were in the 1980s. Evidence has shown that larger portions of energy-dense foods lead to greater energy intake and thus to greater rates of obesity "
*  "Evidence does not support the commonly expressed view that some obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow. On average obese people have a greater energy expenditure than normal weight or thin people."
*  "In the United States consumption of fast food meal has tripled and calorie intake from fast food has quadrupled between 1977 and 1995. "
*  "From 1971 - 2000, the average daily number of calories which women consumed in the United States increased by 335 calories per day (1542 calories in 1971 and 1877 calories in 2000)."
*  "For men, the average increase was 168 calories per day (2450 calories in 1971 and 2618 calories in 2000). Most of these extra calories came from an increase in carbohydrate consumption rather than an increase in fat consumption.
*  The majority of the extra calories came from sweetened beverages.

That's what changed.  We eat more.  Obese people eat more than they should.  The answer is so blindly simple - it's to eat less.  I choose not to because I really enjoy eating a lot.  It feels good.  Life is short.  But it's not a mystery.
2013-06-19 03:22:25 PM  
1 vote:

tenpoundsofcheese: brantgoose: Obesity is not a disease (except when it is). It is more of a syndrome or a political issue

Well, that is a new one.

What political issues encourage people to eat unhealthily, eat too much and don't exercise enough?

Bloomberg in NYC.  Michelle Obama and a vegetable garden.  Even mentioning that "hey, maybe Americans shouldn't be fat slobs eating fast food and drinking a gallon of soda each day" makes one a dirty pinko muslim commie.
2013-06-19 02:08:08 PM  
1 vote:
Subby, I don't think the fat acceptance people are going to rejoice.

Calling it a disease means that can be treated which in turn means that you don't have to accept if someone is fat.
2013-06-19 01:32:38 PM  
1 vote:
A GIS for "you can not save the world by shopping" shows one hit--my Fark post. Without the quotation marks, it shows 301,000,000 hits. There are a lot of webpages telling you that you can save the world by shopping and a lot denying this. They are probably about equally divided between "greens" and "green skeptics", so that you are getting conflicting advice from both sides, pro and contra.

Sorting through immense amounts of misinformation, raw data, BS headlines attached to sensible articles, etc., I can tell you this:

Sleep well.

Drink plenty of clean safe water.

Drink black tea and low-cal coffee in reasonable amounts.

A touch of what you fancy does the soul good. But don't delude yourself: it's just a touch sometimes.

Eat more fresh fruit, carefully washed.

Take it easy on the add-ons.

Shop carefully, with a shopping list to help you plan and avoid temptation.

Eat thoughtfully and chew carefully. Use smaller plates and other tricks if you find they help.

Don't over stock. It leads both to waste and to over-consumption.

Don't understock. It leads to unnecessary shopping trips, eating out, eating junk food and other forms of waste and excess.

Eat less animal fat and modest portions of a variety of meats, dairy, eggs, etc.

If you go Vegan or Vegetarian, you will have to work at it and know your stuff because it is harder to get all the essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals on a restricted rather than omnivor diet.

Don't over do the variety. It is fun, it is a pleasure, but you will eat more also. A little monotony and blandness can do you good. To quote Einstein, "Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler."

Get up and move. Even moderate walking, if done frequently and for reasonable lengths of time, can work wonders in your health. You should not sit for hours at a time. Sitting is unnatural. Walking, running and standing, or lying down to sleep are natural. Sitting is not.

Thimk. It's still as true today as it was when it was invented by a marketing man in the 1950s.
2013-06-19 01:21:11 PM  
1 vote:
You can not save the world by shopping.

I don't know if I came up with that maxim or got it from somebody else, perhaps a green guru or journalist. But it is true. Shopping is more a part of the problem than a part of the solution. Yes, you can learn to shop better. You can learn the tricks and deceits of commerce and how to avoid them. You can stay out of the middle aisles and shop only in the aisles where the whole food (some of it not too whole or unadulterated nowadays) is.

But our consumer society gives us too many choices, and too many of them are bad choices from an economic, ecological or nutritional point of view.

The consumer, however, can not reasonably be expected to learn everything she needs to know, or retain this information and update it continuously to reflect the rapidly changing facts on portion sizes, package sizes, package contents, nutrition, health, etc.

Thus I say, you can not save the world by shopping. Bootstrappy self-reliance and "common sense" are over-whelmed by marketing, advertising, lies, deceit, political propaganda, misunderstanding and the natural biases of the human mind. You can try to defend yourself, "shop defensively" as you "drive defensively", but in the end, the responsability for accountability and transparency falls on governments, corporations and other institutions, as well as on households and indviduals.
2013-06-19 01:11:04 PM  
1 vote:
Yeah, well, if the American Diabetes Association drops the numbers on normal, pre-diabetic and diabetic glucose levels again, we're all going to be on Metformin and stabbing our fingers 4 times daily.

Think of the Big Pharma profits. All those meds, strips, pokey things, meters, tests...

/I eat a lot of sugar...I'm still high from my bowl of Chocolate Frosted Fruit Loops with Fortunate Chunks of Hydrogenated Pig Fat
/Lose weight yesterday. Eat right yesterday. Exercise regularly yesterday.
/apparently nearly 3/4 of disease in America has to do with terrible diet
/Big Food gets you sick, Big Pharma keeps you alive. Tell them both to fark off
2013-06-19 01:06:19 PM  
1 vote:
As a fat person myself, this is ridiculous. Obesity is not a disease and it does not deserve to be treated as such. It is, at most, a mental problem. Unlike real diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, obesity can be overcome with tenacity and self-control. Eat less, move more.

/excusing myself to go be fat somewhere else
2013-06-19 12:58:39 PM  
1 vote:
I'm concerned because obesity is so easy to catch. I mean have you ever seen a fat person who could run fast?
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