According to the National Center for Health and Statistics, “Across the United States, more than one in three adults and one in six children (ages 2-19) are obese — and one in 11 young children (ages 2-5) are obese”(par.3). With this rate growing year by year, it is necessary to understand what obesity is and why it should be considered a disease. A person is considered obese when their BMI is higher than 30 percent and morbidly obese when it is higher than 40 percent(Disability Benefits Help,par.1).Can one imagine how horrible this is to the body? Would not the long term effects cause excruciating pian? Is this not something that should be addressed as a disease? Obesity should be considered a disease because it impairs the bodily functions, causes many other health conditions which do qualify as disabilities, and decreases a person’s life expectancy.Obesity be considered a disease because it impairs the body’s functions. Some, such as Patrick J. Skerrett and Laurel Herold on procon.org may disagree by stating, “Many people with a BMI…in the obesity range are not physically impaired and live normal lives. BMI does not take into account the overall health of the individual and can identify fit…”(pt.c3). Although a BMI does not take this information into account, Harvard School of Public Health on procon.org, “Obesity can impair normal mobility and range of motion in knees and hips, and obese patients make up 33% of all joint replacement operations”(pt.p2) If the obese make up one third of these operations, how are they not physically impaired? How can they not be considered diseased or at least disabled? Therefore, obesity is a disease not only because of the effects it has on the body, but also because it causes many other health issues. Obesity should be considered a disease because it creates a risk factor for other diseases. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 and a General Surgeon in 2013 on procon.org disagree. They state that:”…obesity is a preventable risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancers (like endometrial, breast, and colon), high cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, liver and gallbladder disease, incontinence, increased surgical risk, sleep apnea, respiratory problems (like asthma), osteoarthritis, infertility and other reproductive complications, complications during pregnancy and birth defects, and mental health conditions.Women who gain 20 pounds or more between age 20 and midlife double their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. For every 2 pound weight increase, the risk of developing arthritis rises 9-13%”(pt.c1)Although their point that obesity is preventable is a valuable point, it still does not discredit that obesity causes this disease. In fact, the authors of this quote clearly stated the causes of being obese. Also, many of the factors that obesity causes are considered diseases such as cancer and heart conditions. So, not only should obesity be considered a disease because of what it can cause, but because it decreases a person’s life expectancy. Obesity should be considered a disease because it is a cause for a shorter life span. In fact,according to Prospective Studies Collaboration on procon.org ” Obesity in adults can lead to three years’ loss of life. Extreme obesity can shorten a person’s life span by 10 years”(pt.p3). However, critics try to backup their point by pointing out that obesity is due to overeating. They use credible sources such as the USDA on procon.org, who stated that, “The suggested daily caloric intake for 31-50-year-olds is 1,800 calories for women and 2,200 calories for men. In 2009-2010, 30-39-year-old women consumed an average 1,831 calories (which is 1.7% over the recommendation) while men of the same age consumed an average 2,736 calories per day (which is 22% over the recommendation)”(pt.c4). Although this may be fair to say, the Global BMI Mortality Collaboration and Sarah Boseley in 2016 back up their point. They say that, “A July 13, 2016 Lancet meta-study found that even moderate obesity led to an increased chance of early death: 29.5% for men (compared to 19% for men of normal BMI weight) and 14.6% for women (compared to 11%).” So, would it not be fair to say that despite one of obesity’s causes being overeating, it is still a topic that should be considered a disease given the fact that it overall decreases a person’s life expectancy. In conclusion, the subject of obesity should be a highly discussed topic and it should also be considered a disease. Obesity should be considered a disease because it is a gateway to other diseases, harms the body, and shortens a person’s life span. Despite that critics believe obesity is preventable, can be dealt with, and caused by overeating, it is still highly important. So, what will you do to help this highly detrimental issue?
September 13, 2019 0 Comments