Can obesity be a Disease?
Yes, people can't help it
1.8% (6)
1.8% (6)
Yes, but it can still be avoided.
28.9% (94)
28.9% (94)
Yes, other reasons
5.8% (19)
5.8% (19)
No, now get off your ass
34.5% (112)
34.5% (112)
No, genetic variation is not a disease by default
24.9% (81)
24.9% (81)
No, other reasons
3.7% (12)
3.7% (12)
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Poll: Obesity as a Disease.

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Being fat is a lifestyle choice, not a disease. No one has got fat from eatting salad and running every week. I eat well and exercise a lot, I'm off running later this evening while we're at it. I'm not fat and I don't think its a coincidence.

If lunch box had smaller meals, was eatting the right things and taking regular exercise then he/she would not be fat in the first place. It,s simple maths. Consume more energy than you use and you will put on weight, body builders use this all of the time, as do fat people.

Well actually hero you are half right about the calories. The other half is that the type of calories matter. Proteins and natural fats are good for you to lose weight while grains, corn syrup and sugar (all carbs) are bad for you (relatively speaking).

Some people have more of a tendacy towards it than others, but encouraging more people to cop it and blame their fatass on outside factors would bite society in the ass. Theirs enough of that in america already

It is simple. Stuff goes in --> stuff goes out. Even if there is a marginal genetic predisposition to store fatty tissue, YOU CAN STILL LOSE IT AT THE SAME RATE AS EVERYONE ELSE. Unless you have a severe thyroid issue, which is still manageable, you can keep from getting obese.

There's probably a small amount to blame on genetics, but the largest part is in being lazy.

So no, everyone can lose weight if he wants too.

Yan007:
[quote]
Question: Could you tell us about your diet? What do you usually eat daily, what quantities? Give me portions sizes if possible (1 portion = 1 closed fist)

Breakfast is usually a cup of cereal - lately Honey Nut(oat?) Chex with soymilk (lactose issue) and half a cup of coffee, 1/4 teaspoon sugar (I know, why bother with any?)

When I get to work, I have some tea (Green or orange pekoe) and at 10am usually an apple or fruit cup thing (like applesauce, unsweetened). For lunch is usually dinner leftovers - 1 serving of meat - beef, pork, or chicken, a couple cups worth of carbs, usually, and a half cup (or more) of veggies. Usually with some butter and/or cheese. (I like to make pasta with half a bag of frozen veggies and breaded chicken fingers - 4 or 5 - if I"m lazy. Or pork chops/steak with rice side or baked potato and broccoli or asparagus side. Broccoli is nuked from frozen and cheese is put on it, asparagus is cooked in a fry-pan with a touch of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Steaks and pork chops are plain. When I cook ham I mix some mustard and honey together to dip. I do eat probably more dinner than I should as my carb servings are bigger than they should be, but by mealtimes I'm usuallt starving.

Chocolate soy milk for dessert, usually.

Usually do have an evening snack - small plate of nachos, bowl of air-pop popcorn with butter, or cereal. I buy maybe 3 litres of pop a month and that's split between 2 people. This is probably where I screw myself.

Once every couple weeks we'll have McDonald's, and once every couple of weeks Subway. Once a week I go down to the cafeteria and buy a taco salad - the bowl is a deep-fried tortilla. And Fridays are snack day at work so someone brings a treat.

I go to my parents once a week for dinner, my mom's diabetic so I eat the same there, but usually have a can of coke as well.

We have just moved out to the edge of the city and are trying to take walks in the evening, now. Also, it's funny, but I have to drive to work now so I walk further than when I took the bus, as I rent a parking space a few blocks from my office. Not nearly enough, I know. Must get that second bicycle to explore the dirt roads around here, too.

Most people I know that are fat tend to eat a lot and not do anything that requires physical effort. Sure, some cases can be attributed to genetics but even then, you can get slim if you want to.
My cousin was fat ever since she was a little girl. Apparently, it was genetic so she was always told that it's not her fault, that it's ok and that there's nothing she can do about it. She wanted to be slimmer so I told her once that she should stop eating so much and start exercising. I got so much hate from my family for that.
Then, after she finished high school (which was kind of hard for her because of her looks) she started going to the gym and now, 6 years later, she looks really good (I would tap that if she wasn't family :)
This was especially surprising to her mother, who looks like a whale, who refused to go on a diet even after having a heart attack (and several other nice things) at the age of 40, who eats when she's sad/nervous/anxious etc.

My point is, even if it's in your genes, you can still beat it.
I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 6. I was told by many (including doctors) that I won't be able to do anything physically demanding. Yet, look at the shit I can do:

nothing physically demanding bout that, eh?
Plus, thanks to eating healthy (I prefer to take my vitamins in food, rather than pills), my bones are way stronger than I was told they were going to be.

People just don't want to do all the work in order to get in shape and "oh, it's genetic" is an excuse for that (maybe not in all cases but in most of them).

IndomitableSam:

Yan007:
[quote]
Question: Could you tell us about your diet? What do you usually eat daily, what quantities? Give me portions sizes if possible (1 portion = 1 closed fist)

Breakfast is usually a cup of cereal - lately Honey Nut(oat?) Chex with soymilk (lactose issue) and half a cup of coffee, 1/4 teaspoon sugar (I know, why bother with any?)

When I get to work, I have some tea (Green or orange pekoe) and at 10am usually an apple or fruit cup thing (like applesauce, unsweetened). For lunch is usually dinner leftovers - 1 serving of meat - beef, pork, or chicken, a couple cups worth of carbs, usually, and a half cup (or more) of veggies. Usually with some butter and/or cheese. (I like to make pasta with half a bag of frozen veggies and breaded chicken fingers - 4 or 5 - if I"m lazy. Or pork chops/steak with rice side or baked potato and broccoli or asparagus side. Broccoli is nuked from frozen and cheese is put on it, asparagus is cooked in a fry-pan with a touch of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Steaks and pork chops are plain. When I cook ham I mix some mustard and honey together to dip. I do eat probably more dinner than I should as my carb servings are bigger than they should be, but by mealtimes I'm usuallt starving.

Chocolate soy milk for dessert, usually.

Usually do have an evening snack - small plate of nachos, bowl of air-pop popcorn with butter, or cereal. I buy maybe 3 litres of pop a month and that's split between 2 people. This is probably where I screw myself.

Once every couple weeks we'll have McDonald's, and once every couple of weeks Subway. Once a week I go down to the cafeteria and buy a taco salad - the bowl is a deep-fried tortilla. And Fridays are snack day at work so someone brings a treat.

I go to my parents once a week for dinner, my mom's diabetic so I eat the same there, but usually have a can of coke as well.

We have just moved out to the edge of the city and are trying to take walks in the evening, now. Also, it's funny, but I have to drive to work now so I walk further than when I took the bus, as I rent a parking space a few blocks from my office. Not nearly enough, I know. Must get that second bicycle to explore the dirt roads around here, too.

Here's my take on it. From what I understand you believe the following: carbs are good for you, fat is bad for you. Correct me if I'm wrong.

When I am cutting (losing weight), I get most of my calories from proteins. I HIGHLY suggest you ditch the cereals, pasta and grains and keep your carbs to a MAXIMUM of 100 grams a DAY. Therefore, make sure you get complex carbs when you have to (brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain/wheat produces). As a rule of thumb, if it's white you don't eat it. Yes, it may sound insane to you right now but it works. Long story short, carbs are sugar, sugar makes your blood sugar spike, which in turn tells your body to produce insulin that will store your calories as fat. Complex carbs take longer to release the sugar into your bloodstream, meaning your insulin spike will be more gradual and you will store less calories as fat. Your body is made to handle natural fats (from meats and butter for example) so you should move to a high protein diet with low carbs. A trainer in a gym would build you a diet following this basic guideline if you ever went to see one.

If possible, you should split your meals through the day (eat 5-7 times instead of 3 if you can). Replace your cereals with pure oatmeal instead btw, way too much carbs(sugar) in one sitting. I think that by replacing most of your calories from carbs by proteins would help you greatly attain your fat loss goals. Now I highly suggest you talk with a trainer to set you on a path you can be confident will work for you. He should monitor your progress and help you adjust your ratios so you won't have to worry too much about not eating or exercising the right way. You should also resist the temptation to eat less in order to lose weight. If you eat too little you will starve your body and slow down your metabolism, setting yourself up to failure.

Disease or not you aren't going to be obese if you do something about it.
Not that I can talk when it comes to doing stuff to fix my life of course.

I can buy into the mutation idea considering I have been eating like a shameless pig my entire life and am the skinniest of my friends. The media says I should be fat but I am not. Fancy that.

Obesity may be a disease but its caused by an addiction. Fatty foods trigger the reward center in the brain which is why people crave these types of foods which results in the development of an addiction. The bad part about food addiction is that its a natural part of your body's function and the drive to eat food is hard wired into the brain for survival. It makes it very hard to deny yourself from eating fatty foods (when you have a food addiction) because you have to make yourself endure a "starving" state because when your body wants those foods it releases the chemicals in your brain that makes you crave food and feel hungry.

People need to understand that from a biological/survival standpoint your brain WANTS you to eat super fatty foods because it is how we survive in nature and we are hard wired to gain pleasure from consuming these types of foods (same way we gain pleasure from sex to ensure we reproduce). Problem is our brains don't understand the concept of having too much food so you keep eating and packing on those pounds because in our minds its vital for survival to ensure we can continue to live in the case that we can't secure as much food in the future.

If you want to stop obesity then it needs to be approached in a similar manner to other addictions and victims of this addiction needs to understand that this is an ongoing struggle and not just a simple case of "i just need to get use to eating healthier foods".

Just to give an example I weigh 125 lbs and yet I feel an addicted to fatty foods. If i go a day or two without french fries or a cheeseburger i really start to crave it. Honestly im lucky because my metabolism is very high and i can keep the weight off but while im not 250+ lbs im still struggling with this addiction. I struggle to eat healthier and its an ongoing battle to cut out the fast food, soda, raisin bread (my ultimate weakness). While weight loss isn't a goal of mine, just having a healthier diet with proper nutrition is very important to my mental and physical health. (hell when i eat a cheeseburger i get that reward center hit which makes it taste really good but then shortly after i feel like shit because its unhealthy and gives me indigestion)

Also to people who say its because fat people are just "lazy" need to reevaluate that logic. In nature if an animal is able to get all the food they want and all the sex they want (fast food and internet porn can easily fulfill this in humans) then they are winning at life and have no need to do anything else so the brain kinda just shuts down to an extent. Why would an animal need to do more when it can easily get all the food and sex it can ever want? Same thing happens in humans which results in a lower drive to achieve, work, or even care about anything. Also the constant flood from the reward center in the brain results in the need for more rewards to feel the same amount enjoyment (same as when you need to take more drugs to get the same high), it makes the rewards in life feel insignificant which results in a state of depression. If your depressed and your motivation to do anything is diminished then its that much harder to make the changes in diet and fight off those urges to eat a whopper.

Proper diet and exercise are vital to a healthy lifestyle but we also need to look at WHY people are eating unhealthy foods and find better methods to support people trying to stop eating this addicting unhealthy junk.

Yes, but with a huge conditional.

Genetics/disease/whatever might cause you to put on more weight. But other conditions such as diabetes can be found and diagnosed, and it is fairly obvious when people have them. So far as I am aware there has not been one single utterly conclusive study that proves there is a genetic component to obesity (ie, finding the faulty chromosome which causes it) Instead there is a whole lot of circumstancial evidence that might suggest genetic causes.

Next point: Fat people are messing up the studies. For the purposes of this point the overweight will be labelled in two categories: The Fat, and the Obese. The Obese have a genetic condition (supposedly) that unless they spend their entire life on an extreme diet, always hungry, they will be overweight. The Fat just need to get up, stop eating so much, and maybe employ some light exercise. As long as there are more Fat people than genetically Obese people then sorting the Obese from the Fat will be impossible.

Conclusion and rebuttal to the 'get off your fat ass' people: Obesity may or may not be a disease, I don't study it and I don't know enough about the biology to really understand the arguments. However, there are some people for whom it is not an excuse. Like how there are a lot of real people with autism or aspergers, and then a whole lot of assholes on the internet who don't want to own up to how desolate and empty their lives are.

Which sort of links in to my next point. I think a lot of people who are self righteous about being in shape really don't get it sometimes. There are two things that can help you lose weight, eating less and exercising more, so let's run through my typical day.

And the best thing of all? Even if you read all that you won't get it. You'll suggest that surely I could do without breakfast, I've just got myself into the mindset that I need it. Surely I could go for a run after work instead of doing my e-mails, I just haven't got the motivation. And that's why me lecturing you or you lecturing me is pointless, because as I said, you just don't understand until you live my exact life, like I won't understand your life until I live it exactly.

Kendarik:
However, it can be a SYMPTOM or side effect of a disease. There are MANY listed diseases related to obesity. Many drugs designed to deal with unrelated problems also contribute to obesity.

Yeah, came in here to say this. Obesity is a symptom, not a disease.

Perhaps it's a symptom of a thyroid disorder.

Or a medication you're taking over-stimulating your appetite.

Or as the OP states, a difficulty the body is having processing fats/sugars.

Or simply a symptom of too many pies in the diet.

Fappy:
I can buy into the mutation idea considering I have been eating like a shameless pig my entire life and am the skinniest of my friends. The media says I should be fat but I am not. Fancy that.

How old are you? I was this way until my mid-late twenties. Then my metabolism said "Okay, I'm out! Good luck with that shameless pig routine!" and it was like someone pulled the rip cord on an inflatable raft.

10 years later and I need to exercise regularly and at least semi-watch what I eat if I expect to stay a reasonable weight.

My diet is generally healthy. It is mostly frozen foods. While not ideal, its certainly better than fast food 5 times a day like before. I probably eat a little more than I should, but it's still a lot less than I did last year at this time. Last year at this time, I was close to 4000 calories a day. Now, its more like 2500 a day.

I've lost about 30 pounds in the last year.

Eating too much is a by product of depression. There is something missing in my brain and I eat to try and fill the gap in them. When I learned to combat the depression, the overeating stopped.

malestrithe:
My diet is generally healthy. It is mostly frozen foods. While not ideal, its certainly better than fast food 5 times a day like before.

Not really, it's not. Processed food is still terrible for you. You should be eating whole, unprocessed foods.

Don't worry though, it's not like I do it either. I just know I SHOULD be.

BloatedGuppy:

malestrithe:
My diet is generally healthy. It is mostly frozen foods. While not ideal, its certainly better than fast food 5 times a day like before.

Not really, it's not. Processed food is still terrible for you. You should be eating whole, unprocessed foods.

Don't worry though, it's not like I do it either. I just know I SHOULD be.

You're right I should be too. Like I said, it's not idea, but healthier than how I was before.

The thing is, I'm not worried about all the chemicals because they tend not to linger in the body. There is a reason why shit stinks. That is the body getting rid of the stuff it does not need.

MelasZepheos:
Yes, but with a huge conditional.

Genetics/disease/whatever might cause you to put on more weight. But other conditions such as diabetes can be found and diagnosed, and it is fairly obvious when people have them. So far as I am aware there has not been one single utterly conclusive study that proves there is a genetic component to obesity (ie, finding the faulty chromosome which causes it) Instead there is a whole lot of circumstancial evidence that might suggest genetic causes.

Next point: Fat people are messing up the studies. For the purposes of this point the overweight will be labelled in two categories: The Fat, and the Obese. The Obese have a genetic condition (supposedly) that unless they spend their entire life on an extreme diet, always hungry, they will be overweight. The Fat just need to get up, stop eating so much, and maybe employ some light exercise. As long as there are more Fat people than genetically Obese people then sorting the Obese from the Fat will be impossible.

Conclusion and rebuttal to the 'get off your fat ass' people: Obesity may or may not be a disease, I don't study it and I don't know enough about the biology to really understand the arguments. However, there are some people for whom it is not an excuse. Like how there are a lot of real people with autism or aspergers, and then a whole lot of assholes on the internet who don't want to own up to how desolate and empty their lives are.

Which sort of links in to my next point. I think a lot of people who are self righteous about being in shape really don't get it sometimes. There are two things that can help you lose weight, eating less and exercising more, so let's run through my typical day.

And the best thing of all? Even if you read all that you won't get it. You'll suggest that surely I could do without breakfast, I've just got myself into the mindset that I need it. Surely I could go for a run after work instead of doing my e-mails, I just haven't got the motivation. And that's why me lecturing you or you lecturing me is pointless, because as I said, you just don't understand until you live my exact life, like I won't understand your life until I live it exactly.

Sorry, but eating less is a ridiculous way to lose weight and WILL backfire. If you are already fat, just cutting your calories arbitrarily won't help you much unless you know your BMR for example. I'm also sorry to hear about your situation but then again, how sorry your life is is of no concern to mother nature and your body. Whine less, find more solutions.

malestrithe:
You're right I should be too. Like I said, it's not idea, but healthier than how I was before.

The thing is, I'm not worried about all the chemicals because they tend not to linger in the body. There is a reason why shit stinks. That is the body getting rid of the stuff it does not need.

That process eventually breaks down though. Think of your liver like a filter. Pass enough shit through it, and eventually that filter starts to look pretty disgusting, and more and more crud starts making it through and into your system.

You find me an obese person that lives on a diet of exercise an salads? You wont, they eat 10,000 calories a day while sat in front of the tv and then blame "illness" as a reason.

BloatedGuppy:

malestrithe:
You're right I should be too. Like I said, it's not idea, but healthier than how I was before.

The thing is, I'm not worried about all the chemicals because they tend not to linger in the body. There is a reason why shit stinks. That is the body getting rid of the stuff it does not need.

That process eventually breaks down though. Think of your liver like a filter. Pass enough shit through it, and eventually that filter starts to look pretty disgusting, and more and more crud starts making it through and into your system.

Aware of that too. Again not really worried about it. The amounts are small enough that it is not affecting me. More worried about the anti depressants I'm currently taking doing irreversible harm than anything in the frozen foods. Sorry, but I need to go with the greater of the two evils.

malestrithe:
Aware of that too. Again not really worried about it. The amounts are small enough that it is not affecting me. More worried about the anti depressants I'm currently taking doing irreversible harm than anything in the frozen foods. Sorry, but I need to go with the greater of the two evils.

It's all good. Bad nutrition didn't really effect me until my mid thirties. It's a gong show when it finally happens, but you've probably got many years of enjoying frozen pizzas ahead of you before your body says "fuck it" and explodes.

At best I'd say its a mental health problem manifesting indirectly as obesity. For example, depression leading to comfort eating, that kind of thing.

Obesity in itself though is not a disease, its the consequence of not eating a balanced diet in accordance with your body. The idea that certain bodies process food differently is correct but that just means that that person needs to work out a diet that keeps them within healthy levels.

And of course, a little humour on the subject:

http://youtu.be/mgU6Hvb8AXY

Ricky Gervais explaining its not a disease.

SonOfVoorhees:
You find me an obese person that lives on a diet of exercise an salads? You wont, they eat 10,000 calories a day while sat in front of the tv and then blame "illness" as a reason.

I'm considered obese - my diet is listed above. I don't exercise like I should - but I don't eat 10,000 calories a day. Less than half that, probably. And I've been obese since about age 12.

The guage on whether someone has genetic issues or not can be decided by how well they lose weight when put on a proper food and exercise program. People on The Biggest Loser? Most of them aren't genetically inclined to be big. The ones who get booted early, even though they work just as hard but can't lose the weight? They probably have some genetic issues.

A few years ago when I was in Library School I had to come downtown to go to classes - so I would walk 10 minutes to a bus stop, ride the bus, get off and walk 20 minutes to my building. Then walk to and from different classes. All with a properly fitted backpack and 30+ pounds of books/computers/etc inside. I lost a size, but didn't lose any weight.

When I worked at a private school which fed everyone only healthy foods and I supervised children - chased after them and played with them 3 hours a day, taking them outside and playing on the play structure. I wore out a pair of shoes. I lost a size... but no weight.

I can touch my toes easily - put my palms flush on the floor. Put my foot behind my ear. Carry kids around. Go up a flight of stairs without losing my breath. Go for long walks without being winded.

I usually fluctuate between a size 16 and 18 Canadian - Extra Large, not XXL or bigger. I can shop in normal people stores (provided they have a plus size section) - My favorite store is Ricki's. I weigh about 270 pounds.

Everyone's weight issues are different.

BringBackBuck:

0% of human obesity is caused by genetics. As per your example: if you eat a bag of chips, you might convert a % to fat, someone else might convert a different % to fat. The fat still comes from eating that pack of chips. That is environment not genetics.

This is false, the way your entire metabolism works is run by genetics, in fact, we can induce obesity in animals by knocking out a single gene, and on the same diet they get remarkably more obese.
The fat doesn't come from the chips alone, it comes from your metabolism.
carbohydrates are usually converted into energy, genetic disorders can shift this balance significantly and send most carbohydrates straight to the fatty acid production cycle.

Luna:
[

If the word 'influenced' rather than 'caused' was used then I'm sure I could agree with this.

You are right, my bad.

That's not what you said. You said obese. Overweight is not the same thing as obese.

Obesity is defined as:
Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual's ideal body weight. Obesity is associated with increased risk of illness, disability, and death.

I guess overweight is used more for the 20% or less type, I figure.

Nimzabaat:
So how do you catch obesity? Is it a air borne virus? Blood borne? If a fat person bites me do I get obesity? Should I use a condom... Yeah sorry, it's a sore point with me that things are being labelled as "diseases" when they are really just a lack of self control.

By having a genetic defect in one of your many, many metabolic enzymes.

My point is not that "It's a disease, they can't help it."

My point is, some people have a genetic disorder that makes a regular diet enough to make them obese.
Diabetes type II, for example, can be caused by obesity, but can also lead to obesity.

A mutation in mice's insulin receptor gene will cause almost all of their food intake to be directly synthesized into fatty acids.
They will not produce energy, thus cannot "work" it off.

Again, not saying this is the case in all, or even most, obesity cases.
A lot of times it really is just a matter of not working out and bad diets.

But there are numerous cases of obesity induced by genetics.

malestrithe:
My diet is generally healthy. It is mostly frozen foods. While not ideal, its certainly better than fast food 5 times a day like before. I probably eat a little more than I should, but it's still a lot less than I did last year at this time. Last year at this time, I was close to 4000 calories a day. Now, its more like 2500 a day.

I've lost about 30 pounds in the last year.

Eating too much is a by product of depression. There is something missing in my brain and I eat to try and fill the gap in them. When I learned to combat the depression, the overeating stopped.

Congrats!

Ranorak:

BringBackBuck:

0% of human obesity is caused by genetics. As per your example: if you eat a bag of chips, you might convert a % to fat, someone else might convert a different % to fat. The fat still comes from eating that pack of chips. That is environment not genetics.

This is false, the way your entire metabolism works is run by genetics, in fact, we can induce obesity in animals by knocking out a single gene, and on the same diet they get remarkably more obese.
The fat doesn't come from the chips alone, it comes from your metabolism.
carbohydrates are usually converted into energy, genetic disorders can shift this balance significantly and send most carbohydrates straight to the fatty acid production cycle.

Luna:
[

If the word 'influenced' rather than 'caused' was used then I'm sure I could agree with this.

You are right, my bad.

That's not what you said. You said obese. Overweight is not the same thing as obese.

Obesity is defined as:
Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual's ideal body weight. Obesity is associated with increased risk of illness, disability, and death.

I guess overweight is used more for the 20% or less type, I figure.

Nimzabaat:
So how do you catch obesity? Is it a air borne virus? Blood borne? If a fat person bites me do I get obesity? Should I use a condom... Yeah sorry, it's a sore point with me that things are being labelled as "diseases" when they are really just a lack of self control.

By having a genetic defect in one of your many, many metabolic enzymes.

My point is not that "It's a disease, they can't help it."

My point is, some people have a genetic disorder that makes a regular diet enough to make them obese.
Diabetes type II, for example, can be caused by obesity, but can also lead to obesity.

A mutation in mice's insulin receptor gene will cause almost all of their food intake to be directly synthesized into fatty acids.
They will not produce energy, thus cannot "work" it off.

Again, not saying this is the case in all, or even most, obesity cases.
A lot of times it really is just a matter of not working out and bad diets.

But there are numerous cases of obesity induced by genetics.

Okay it's a disease. The cure is healthy eating and excercise. The cure will take time. In some cases it will take a lot of time. But it can be cured if people want it bad enough.

My point is by giving people a cop-out and letting them not take responsibility for their own lifestyle you are NOT HELPING THEM. If you cared about these people at all you'd encourage them to become healthier and happier, not give them a made up excuse not to be. There's been a few posters here who have had weight problems and have addressed them by eating better and exercising more and that's awesome. Good for them. Denial, on the other hand, helps no one.

I love how the majority of peoples logic is "well I'm not fat, so no."

It always does seem to be the people with the least knowledge who have the loudest opinions.

Speaking as someone who goes to the gym for 4 hours a day twice a week, walks everywhere else. Eats a good diet, much healthier than most of my naturally skinny friends, and is still pretty big. I'd say yes, a lot of it simply is to do with your body type. But I'm also naturally much stronger than my slender friends. Even from being a child I always have been, so it's kind of a win lose situation. I'm naturally stocky, but that always gave me an advantage in Rugby, JuJitsu and other contact sports.

Of course you could live on lettuce leaves for the rest of your life and that probably would stop you from packing the weight on. But that's a lot to ask of someone. I'd actually say the problem is a mix of genetics and the general way in which even non-convenience food is made today. Obviously something isn't gelling in our bodies with the processed foods we eat.

I cook a lot of my meals, I try to get my ingrediants as fresh as possible. I go to 'exotic markets' because their stock is usually not as processed and preserved. I use hardly any oil or sugars when cooking. I eat a lot of fish and veg, with red and white meats too. I've got the archetypal balanced diet, but I'm still kinda big, even after exercise.

People who simply say 'exercise more eat less' as if that's actually good advice have no idea what they're saying. Sure some people are big because they're lazy and eat the wrong things. But this isn't a one size fits all situation.... literally.

I'd imagine there's already been some comments to this effect posted before me, but let me say this:

If obesity is a disease, I already know the cure for it: put down the god damn fork.

First a couple questions and sorry in advance since this isn't exactly about the thread:
1) What class and at what level are you writing this paper for, because that first source might not fly at a university level.
2) Granted I haven't done direct research into the subject, but strictly speaking you can't say that 40-70% of "fatness" is caused by genetics. There are a lot of things controlling the genetic code, and not every gene is expressed or expressed to the same extent. There are a lot of other factors that affect how, and which genes are expressed in what amounts, and you can't make assumptions on any population from a small group (not to mention one of those sources is one a bacteria).
3) The part about conversion. There are a lot of factors that can influence how much of the energy in your food is stored, not just some variations with proteins. Among these factors, how much you store will be related to age, height, and lean muscle mass.

^All that being said if you are writing on a high school level, ignore that cause you wouldn't be expected to know it, but if your writing on a university level for a biology/science course, be careful how and what you say, and I'd try to find a better source for human obesity than that C. elegans website (try google scholar and punch in human obesity genetic causes).

On-topic: Yes, I consider obesity a disease. More often than not obesity has some sort of underlying factor whether it is physiological or physical. Now granted, this doesn't mean that anyone who is overweight is so because its out of their hands.

I wouldn't call it a disease but contrary to the prevailing opinion of this thread so far it's not something that is a "lifestyle choice" and isn't preventable by "getting some fucking exercise" or "putting down the god damn fork".

"People come in all shapes and sizes" is a phrase we used to get taught but which got hushed up a little when it was discovered that creating a society which stigmitises and shames the "overweight" is profitable.

Studies as early as 1959 have shown that eating less and exercising more only works in 5% of people. And I don't mean the other 95% give up or do it wrong or something, I mean for 95% of people that just plain doesn't work. Several studies have shown that dieting, while causing initial weight-loss, almost always leads to the patient regaining their weight within 5 years, if not gaining more, even if they still persist with the diet.

Now I'm not saying for a second that exercising and eating right aren't healthy - in fact, that's just the thing: engaging in a healthy lifestyle leads to health. BUT weight and health are two totally different things, that have been lumped together despite overwhelming evidence that they shouldn't be. More studies have shown that obese people who engage in the same healthy lifestyles as "ideal weight" people have, get this, the exact shame chances of various illnesses as each other. And obese people and "ideal weight" people who engage in the same UNhealthy lifestyle choices share the exact same elevated risk.

The $68bn weightloss industry, and governments keen to scapegoat, have fed the media machine and lead to obesity hysteria, the tragic results of which are, among other things, a 112% increase in eating disorders in children under 12. As well as anxiety, stress and depression over being stigmitised on a daily basis leading to increased suicide and stress-related illnesses in the overweight, thus making the whole mortality thing a grim, self-realising prophecy.

Shaming and ridiculing fat people with comments like "put down the fucking fork" is bad for psychological health and this translates into bad physical health. Not just eating disorders, but also the rejection of a healthy lifestyle because it "clearly isn't working." It is, it is working for their health. But the human body is so much more complex than just "its size is determined by calorific exchange", and we all seem to have forgotten that, because a society that hates the fat is a society that makes weightloss industries a whole lot of money.

Here's some research, feel free to ignore it and, like the guy above me, claim to know the "cure" for obesity without any evidence.

Bibliography:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/1580453
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/Dieting-Does-Not-Work-UCLA-Researchers-7832.aspx
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/17469900
http://www.nutritionj.com/content/10/1/9
http://www.rxpgnews.com/obesity/Adolescent_Dieting_May_Predict_Obesity_and_Eating__3907_3907.shtml
pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/112/4/900.short
http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/study-healthy-habits-make-healthy-fatties/
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/steven_blair/
http://thinkmuscle.com/health/obesity-health-metabolic-fitness/
http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198603063141003
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/282/16/1547.short

Having excess fat in the body is not a disease and NEVER will be! It's unhealthy sure but not a disease.

I believe it can easily be an self-imposed addiction. I believe a minority really can't help it, usually those with medical problems that makes it extremely difficult. However, I believe for a majority eating right, exercising, and just generally leading a healthy life-style will help them in losing weight, whether it's 100lbs or just 20lbs, they earned it and should be proud of themselves; regardless of what anyone else says. You can still be hefty, stocky, and a thicker person while living that healthy lifestyle. However, I believe a majority of people tend to put way too much emphasis into; "It's my genes!", "It's my bones!", "It's my body structure!" and they end up not even trying.

I myself was addicted to food and I'd use it to self-medicate myself (ALONG with drinking and smoking). Like some people do with cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol. I was 100lbs overweight by being 245lbs, at the height of 5'5". I banged all of the same drums. Genetics, bones, body-structure. I am now 168lbs and closing in on the personal goal I set for myself (145lbs), which means I've managed to lose 77lbs. I quit smoking and drinking. No gym, no crazy workout fads or diet crazes. I worked out at home, studied plant-based nutrition, and used that as a guide to eat as healthy as I possibly could. I still do. "You can have just one, you've been so good!" is a constantly repeated phrase that ends up haunting me. I find that I can't indulge like other people even with a simple snack-sized bag of chips even having just one beer or two beers with friends is something that requires a dedicated workout later, however I can also be personally blamed for running my metabolism right into the ground, even if it wasn't that fast to begin with.

I caught a lot of hate from my family, who also always blamed genetics for their physical appearance; because I asked them to please lead healthier lifestyles. My family (besides my dad who has always been healthy) are yo-yo dieters. If something doesn't work to their expectations that week, they'll move on to some other crazy diet phase. Eventually they gain whatever they did manage to lose back and say, "See, it's my genes! Exercise and eating right doesn't work!" Except it actually can, if you can muster the self-control. As my cousin and sister proved to themselves.

As long as you eat right, exercise, and generally live a healthy life-style your body will reflect that, size 0 to 12.

I would say that yes, it's a disease. But no, that's not an excuse.

I'd compare it to something like ADHD (genuine ADHD, not "I have bad parents"). It's something that makes life a bit more complicated and makes you deserving of some aid in managing your life. But it's no excuse to utterly destroy your own life (like cardiovascular diseases would do).

There's a difference between being chubby, bigger or whatever you want to call it and being obese. The first is perfectly fine. The latter is inexcusable unless there's something really serious going on.

Everyone has difficulties in their life. As an adult you're meant to face your difficulties and live with them. Bad metabolism is just another of life's troubles.

while I'm willing to concede some people will just always be 'fat' regardless of what they do to lose wieght

it's not a disease. it's just being lazy

BringBackBuck:

Luna:

If a 'normal diet', which I guess would be determined by society as 2000 calories, and it makes someone gain weight, then they simply need to consume less calories

Yeah, it really is that simple.
There is no such thing as a 'normal diet'. If you live in a cold environment and excercise a lot, than you need lots of calories to survive. When Dr Mike Stroud and Sir Ranulph Fiennes crossed the antarctic on foot in 1992/93, each man expended almost 7000 kcal per day, increasing to nearly 11,000 kcal during ascents..
If you live in a comfortable ar-conditioned apartment in the year 2012 sitting behind a computer 18 hours a day, and think that walking to the fridge to get a red bull is excercise, than you probably could survive on 800 calories a day.

The idea of how much a person should eat hasn't changed signifiantly over the last 50 years, whilst modern conveniences and lifestyle choices reduce our energy output. Therefore we get fat.

Too true about the 'normal diet'. I think that most guys who could sustain on 2000 calories are small and weak and/or have a very fast metabolism, but for a short woman with a slow metabolism could turn her into a chubby chubster.

But I don't think one could survive on 800 calories a day. 1000 calories and less is known as the starvation level, it was known as that even in 1918, (and I suspect people may have been generally shorter back then, if only a little, shorter = factor for less calories required), when many people in Germany found that this was all the food they could get, one of the reasons why they gave up in WW1. Also the body needs protein and fat so the source of the calories has some importance.

I must consume well over 3000 calories a day. I have 4 glasses of banana milk in the morning, (unless there's something other than cereal and toast in the morning), and load my plate up with meat+whatever else is for lunch and dinner and consume as much as I can in both of those meals. Then a couple hours after dinner I have a litre of milk with a scoop of weight gainer).

I'm around 180 pounds and I'm gaining weight very slowly. There are some people that could possibly become obese because of this diet. I guess most people who are obese simply don't want to be thinner, if they wanted it bad enough, they would find a way, (generally, there are probably some people with medical conditions out there.)

Its not a disease...But it can be a symptom of a disease of the mind.

When your fat and nobody desires you, its easy to fall into a depressed place where you think its pointless to try and fix it.

Took me a long time to realise how easy it can be to lose weight if you put your all into it.

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