Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AMA and Obesity

The AMA has declared obesity a disease, says Medpage. They state:

Obesity should be called a disease and not simply a condition, the American Medical Association's policy-making House of Delegates voted on Tuesday. The vote -- approved by roughly 60% of the AMA's full House -- goes against the recommendation of its Council on Science and Public Health, which issued a report earlier this week saying that calling obesity a disease would be problematic.

"Problematic" is an  understatement. In almost all cases obesity is self inflicted. Again it is simply input less output is net accumulation. Too much input and at 3500 kcal per pound you get fat. In almost all cases that is the rule.

The NY Times states:

“The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes,” the resolution said.  

Now just parse this statement. Lung cancer caused by smoking is a self induced disease, why, because it cannot be reversed by lifestyle change and will kill you. It is still self induced and preventable. Obesity is self induced and absolutely reversible. The revers can also often stop and reverse the underlying Type 2 Diabetes. This may make the physicians job easier by not demanding the patient do something but it explodes the costs on those of us who watch our weight.

The Times also states:

One reason in favor, it said, was that it would reduce the stigma of obesity that stems from the widespread perception that it is simply the result of eating too much or exercising too little. Some doctors say that people do not have full control over their weight.Supporters of the disease classification also say it fits some medical criteria of a disease, such as impairing body function. 

This creates a broad definition of disease. This is in my opinion one of the most ill conceived things ever done in the field of medicine. People who cause the problem should face the consequences. They burden those who do not inflict their own lack of will on others.

The AMAs statement is as follows:

Today, the AMA adopted policy that recognizes obesity as a disease requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention. “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” said AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D. “The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”

 The statement makes it even worse. It states it is a disease and require "medical intervention". It just requires shutting one's mouth. All one must do it look around a physicians office and see most of the staff morbidly obese and then look behind the screen and see food just lying all about with continual consumption. The solution is simple, get physicians to start the process by denying any food in the office, and seeking non-obese help, if at all possible.