Obesity is now an illness.

And I have to conclude that if you can name me one case where a person has gained more weight than accounted for by the food and drink they consume, you will receive a Nobel Prize.

I am not denying that some people can eat more than others without gaining weight. What I am saying is that everybody has a level of food intake which will balance with their energy expenditure. If they keep to that level, they will not gain weight.

Show me where I said that. Equating “fat, lazy” people with victims of cancer is in poor taste, in my opinion. And anyway, from a scientific viewpoint, those tumours are still being fed by nutrient intake by the patient, so I fail to see quite what your point is.

I am aware I’m not going to make any friends with posts like this, and I do have sympathy with people that are trying to lose weight, because I know it is not easy, but in my opinion classifying it as a “disease” is counter-productive, because it takes the onus off the individual. “It’s not my fault, therefore I don’t have to work at losing weight”.

If you are overweight and happy with it, fine. Lots of people are. I don’t have a problem with that. But people that are unhappy with their weight and seek to blame outside forces, that’s what I dislike.

And people on this board wonder why there’s a pile-on when one poster says something derogatory about obesity and fat people.

Hey, you, Giraffe, Colophon, I’m glad you’re not fat. I’m glad you’re so not fat that you’re completely clueless about what obesity is. I wouldn’t wish obesity on my worst enemy. It would help though, if you would shut your mouth and open your ears before you pass judgement on my value as a human being.

Eat less and exercise more? Thanks, Einstein. If I’m not hitting the gym for an hour a day, I’m spending that time doing yardwork, or heavy duty housework like moving furniture to make up for it. I have plenty of muscle mass.

Eat less? Great idea. Except for the part where my blood sugar plummets, and I get a migraine from hunger. It wasn’t until my doc - who understands obesity a hell of a lot more than you brainstems - put me on an insulin resensitizer that I understood that it’s not normal to be hungry all the fucking time. Hungry thirty minutes after I ate a normal meal. Hungry when I go to bed. Hungry when I wake up. Hungry enough that I can’t concentrate on normal, daily tasks without having to explain to my brain and stomach that no, I’m not going to eat anything right now, even if the shag carpeting is starting to look tasty. I’ve only recently learned that other people’s brains give them signals to quit eating when they’re full. Mine doesn’t. My signal to stop eating is when my stomach starts to hurt, it’s so full. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t know.

You know, any other kind of addict can quit their favorite junk and never touch it again. I can’t. I have to eat food. Believe me, if someone invented pills that could take the place of food, I’d never put a fork in my mouth again. Heroin addicts have a higher rate of recovery than people with obesity.

I don’t make excuses. I’m fat. The responsibility rests on my shoulders to lose the weight I’m carrying around, especially since I’d like to live a long, productive life. However, obesity feeds on itself. Once a person gains weight, that weight changes how their body responds to diet and exercise. It’s now easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. Every setback makes it that much more difficult, and for the past fifty years, health experts have constantly contradicted each other on the best method to lose weight.

It’s about fucking time the CDC, Medicare, and other agencies recognized that obesity is an illness. Obesity is resposible for more deaths than cigarette smoking. There’s no doubt in my mind that obesity will be the #1 killer of the 21st century.

In short, if you think fat people are lazy, gluttonous pigs, keep it to yourself. Especially if you’d like to see less fat around. The more you whinge about the nasty fat people, the more fat people get discouraged, lose hope, and give up. If you’d like to see fewer fat people, then let the CDC do its job and figure out some successful treatments. “Just lose the weight” is like telling a cancer patient to “just go in remission”. Sure, it’s a solution, but only heartless, brainless asshole would think it’s a valid response to the topic.

It’s very difficult to run a sub-4 minute mile, but you aren’t ill if you cannot do so.

Obseity is caused by overeating (or under-excercising). Eating is entirely under the control of the individual (even if maintaining control is difficult for some people).

Also, a very large percentage of Americans are classified as obese. Are we really ready to suggest that this is some ‘illness’ that’s rife in the population?

Most of what you’re talking about would be paid for by insurance companies. Or would you simply weed out everyone who had a hand in their own sickness. Accident victims, burn victims, bad teeth, VD, and on and on. Where do you draw the line?

You have my sympathy, phouka. And yes, some people, like you, do have medical conditions that make losing weight even harder. But not 30.6% of the populatiion. No way. And surely those with a medical condition should be railing against the millions of people who have no medical condition other than laziness and lack of self-control, as it is these people that are the public face of obesity, thus lowering the levels of sympathy and support for those with a genuine problem, for example insulin insensitivity.

Obesity is an illness? What are the symptoms?

Hey, leave me out of this. I never said that obesity wasn’t a problem, or that obese people are less valuable than anyone else, etc. I only questioned the classification of obesity itself as an illness. Specific glandular conditions that cause obesity, sure. Medicial problems that result from obesity, absolutely. But obesity itself? It doesn’t make sense to me. Seriously, why wouldn’t one then label smoking an illness, or eating paint chips, or car crashes?

This is not typical. As a fat person, I am rarely hungry. I eat because I enjoy eating. Too damned much.

Bullshit. People can lose weight voluntarily; it’s damned difficult, and fairly unusual because the people who gain excessive weight (like me) are usually not strong in self-discipline in the first place. But it can be done.

Self-discipline doesn’t create remission in cancer. And to compare the two in that manner is extremely insulting to cancer victims. I am overweight, no, fat, because I lack self-control. Most of us who are overweight are so for essentially the same reason. Most cancers at our current level of understanding are forces of nature, striking apparently at random.

I never made that claim. What I said is that there are a lot of contributing factors to obesity, and to blame it all on laziness and gluttony is simple-minded and thoughtless. Sheesh, the obesity doctors I work with don’t dismiss it as simple laziness, and they are experts in the field. So I have to ask – where is your medical degree from?

Let’s talk about one type of case – often times women who were sexually abused as children will develop weight issues as a way of being big, so as not to be frail and breakable. Many times they may not even be aware of why they can’t lose weight, but invariably they fall off their diets. There is a deeper psychological issue working there that must be addressed.

If you wish to call them fat and lazy and tell them that it’s too much piggin’ and not enough joggin’, then not only are you an insensitive jerk on the scale of Scut Farkus, but you are ignorant as well.

C’mon people, it’s The Onion, not The New England Journal of Medicine. Are we so sensitive about our weight that the mere montion of it’s abundance is now taboo?

Hilarious. Reminds me of Margret Cho’s mom talking about her “getting the gay.”
I seriously doubt any Onion article is going to plunge rational thought, compassion or understanding back into the dark ages.

It is an addiction just like cigarettes, alcohol, street drugs, or anything else that triggers a behavior that isn’t good for you. It is meaner than the other addictions because you can’t hide it. The addicts are under constant fire for it. It costs this country billions in lost time at work, medical bills, disability…the list goes on and on. We need to deal with it and this appears to be the only way to really put a serious dent in the problem. Right fucking on.

I thought you people were supposed to be jolly.


But Phouka’s absolutely right–obesity is nt necessarily a mere symptom of sloth or gluttony. For example, reduced sensitivity to the hormone leptin, which regulates the storage of body fat, can cause obese people not to have the sensation of satiety that turns off the urge to eat.

Sure, exercise and proper diet are improtant means of combatting obesity, but some people, more than you would think, have hormonal problems or a genetic predisposition to obesity. It’s not merely a matter of calories ingested vs. calories expended.

That’s right. Lots has been learned about obesity in the last few years. The more we learn, the more tools we’ll have to combat it.

Well, I’ve got hypoglycemia, which means I have to eat every so often or I feel faint. Sure, I could eat carrots and celery, but what really causes the faintness to go away is bread or something a bit more substantial. There have been times in my life when I’ve been really thin, but because of my heredity (thanks mom!) I gain weight easily. So it takes an enormous amount of willpower to stave off the faintness to get the ball rolling on losing weight.

And I’ve done it before. I have gone on wonderful diets where I’ve lost a lot of weight. I have eaten carrots instead of bread, and only felt mildly faint until my weight was such to where bread every so often wouldn’t cause me to bloat. But as soon as I take my eye off my weight, as soon as I stop eating low-calorie bread and only half a cup of cereal in the morning, I cause the scales to tip again.

So right now I’m heavy again. If I weren’t in England, if I were home and could prepare my own food, I would be eating carrots and light stir-fry and rice instead of meat and potatoes, and I would lose the weight again. I feel ready to take on the battle with the faintness and headaches again.

I agree, it is a matter of burning what you take in. Some people’s hunger switch doesn’t work right. Some people, like me, have a mild medical condition that exacerbates the problem. If we did watch at all times every calorie, we could lose weight, but sometimes it isn’t that easy.

I just wish people wouldn’t be so critical.

Well, this thread certainly proves something - if you want to generate a long post pile in record time, obesity is the topic to do it.

The first 32 posts took just 79 minutes - that’s an average of 24.3 posts per hour.

That kind of speed is illegal in many residential areas!

Yeah, there’s a good reason to defy medical science and wallow in ignorance. “My taxes are too high.” :rolleyes:

So, you are happy to suggest that 30-35% of Americans are suffering from an illness…

One problem with this definition is that it is a slap in the face for those who are obese through genuine medical concerns - no distinction is made between those who are fat through simple inactivity et al., and those who have problems a la phouka. I warrant that relatively few obese people actually suffer from some medical condition that directly leads to their fatness.

For the most part, obesity is a direct result of the abundance of supercalorific foods and the lack of a need to routinely exercise. In that sense maybe you should argue that society is ill, not the individuals. The illness is plenty, and I’ll have a double portion, ta.

Well, it is - but for some people, matching these two quantities is more tricky than it is for Joe Average.

I’m mortarfied that you would make such a comment. Don’t you realize that cement-mixer addicts are at risk for lime disease?

I’ll bet that there are more than you think. Not to mention the vast array of psychological problems that may contribute to obesity. And a general lack of knowledge about nutrition in general. When overweight patients here try to get surgery, they are required to undergo a certain amount of both nutritional and psychological counselling. And I can guarantee you that the psychologists don’t tell the patients “You’re just a lazy fatass, try shutting your yap and jogging.”

Well, your Average Joe is overweight. In fact 64% of Americans are fat, lazy pigs.

67% of white guys just sit behind a desk and eat. 77% of black women stuff their face full. It must be all that sitting on their asses being welfare moms.

These percentages are doing nothing but increasing.
Or, maybe, there is a systematic problem that we are facing. Perhaps you can read up on the hows and understand the whys before the insults start flying.