Obesity Is A Disease, Not A Character Flaw

The more our understanding of the underlying causes of obesity grows, the more we understand that it is indicative of a chronic disease with both genetic and social factors, and not indicative of character.

Hospitals and Health Networks reports:

Treating obesity as a chronic disease means that the goal is no longer weight loss for the sake of weight loss any more than the goal of diabetes treatment is to lower blood sugar simply for the sake of lower blood sugar, says W. Timothy Garvey, M.D., chair of the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Rather, obesity treatment should help patients lose a sufficient amount of weight to improve or reverse related complications. “When somebody has complications, that tells you that that degree of [excess weight] is impairing the patient’s health,” Garvey says. Those complications include diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease and stress incontinence.

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