Obesity classified as disease


Some say obesity should be considered a disease, while others argue that obesity is simply a choice. I am here to pose this question: why would anyone consciously choose to be obese? If it can so easily be prevented by a salad and light jog, then why are there so many people who struggle with it? Perhaps if there were a cure to prevent and do away with obesity, the average lifespan in the U.S. would increase.

The American Medical Association recently decided to officially classify obesity as a disease. Many bills were submitted for the right to expand Medicare reimbursement for weight loss drugs and weight reduction treatment. Providing drugs and medication for obesity strongly classifies it as a disease.

Obesity comes from lack of a hormone called leptin, which helps one to recognize that they are full. There is a hormone called ghrelin, which causes people to continue to eat pleasurably after they are full. There may be an excess of ghrelin and lack of leptin in people who have a tendency to gain weight and become obese. Researchers have linked the hunger hormone to be the same as the hormone that causes the effects of drugs and alcohol to be more appealing.

Diseases are often hereditary, as is obesity.

Viewing obesity as a disease provides helpful prevention ideas and can someday reduce the rate of obesity in the United States.

Marisa Jensen
Fruita, Colorado

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