Is obesity a disease? (thoughts on the recent AMA ruling)

Potato Chip Pyramid--soocAs of Tuesday, June 18th the American Medical Association (AMA) declared obesity a disease. Obesity affects one in three adults and 17% of children in the United States.

While AMA board members argue that recognizing obesity as a disease will urge doctors to treat and prevent obesity more diligently, calling obesity a “disease” also ignores the role of culture in promoting obesity. Many of us already struggle with taking ownership of our health, blaming our health problems on a disease only exacerbates that trend. Declaring obesity a disease will also change the way the health care system looks at obese patients.

Insurance companies will provide more treatment options for obese patients and those affected by related ailments such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other disabilities. The problem is, rather than trying to influence the way people look at food to prevent obesity, our health care system is simply accommodating the problem of obesity in America. By declaring obesity a disease, our government is saying that obesity is a normal health problem when it should be challenging the underlying causes, like the industrial food complex. This declaration enables people (and corporations) to blame obesity on genetics, mental health, life crises, or freedom of choice, while ignoring the real societal causes of obesity like poverty, lack of healthy options, aggressive marketing, misinformation, and food addiction. It’s predicted that half of Americans will be obese by 2040. Will the AMA’s declaration stop this from happening or increase it’s likelihood?

Whether it’s considered an “urgent chronic condition,” a “major health concern,” a “complex disorder” or just a behavioral problem, obesity has become a major problem in our nation and requires immediate attention. Dr. Jeffrey I. Mechanick, one of the doctors who presented evidence to support the AMA’s decision, told Daly News, “Obesity is a considerable problem, it’s a pervasive problem. It affects all of medicine in one way or another,” “All the things we have been doing [to combat it], even though they’re well thought out based on science, haven’t been working so well.” Clearly, main stream medicine and governmental agencies have been missing the mark when it comes to addressing obesity.

Attention on diagnosis, treatment, or simply calling obesity a “disease” will not solve the problem, our attention needs to be on prevention. With another disappointing ruling by America’s health officials, it’s time to consider a creation-based approach to reversing the trend of obesity in our nation. To start, I wonder how many obese Americans are eating a creation-based diet. My guess is very few, perhaps only those who’ve started the journey towards better health. The reality is that most Americans are overfed but undernourished. This is a recipe for weight gain, food addiction, and accelerated degenerative disease.

America’s westernized diet consists of chemicals, MSG, GMOs, artificial colors, artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils, growth hormones, and many other ingredients that propose serious health risks. The problem is not only what these foods are laden with but also what they’re missing. Most Americans are nutrient deprived and lacking vital vitamins such as Vitamin D, A, and even C. The problem is that our nation is overeating food-like products rather than eating real food.

Additionally, we live in a culture that is ruled by advertising. The big food businesses take advantage of the many billboards, TV and radio ads, magazine ads, and diet trends, which Americans consume daily. These big businesses tell us that if we eat their products we will be fit, healthy and happy. However, what they’re really selling us are products that taste like food but are loaded with harmful chemicals and empty calories.

Eighty percent of processed foods have some form of MSG. It’s these processed foods, and MSG specifically, that are making us overweight. Any scientist would know that this it true. In fact, in order to study obesity, scientists will compare an obese rat to a rat at its normal weight. Since rats are not naturally obese, the scientist must first do one thing. To create an obese rat you feed it MSG. Well folks, 80% of processed foods contain MSG. Processed foods will make you fat.

The addition of chemicals like MSG is just one example of why a nation, which has strayed so far from a creation-based diet, has become obese. In order to reverse and prevent obesity, we must educate ourselves and future generations against what big businesses so willingly offer. We must return to eating whole foods, like organic fruits and vegetables and animal products that are free of hormones, antibiotics, GMO feed, etc. Only when more of us start eating the foods God created for us can we expect to see our health improve and the obesity trend reversed.

References: NY Daily News, LA Times, MSG Induced Obesity in Mice, Hungry for Change (a documentary)

Originally posted 2013-06-25 02:15:52.

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