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Old 05 July 2013, 04:56 PM
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Kallah Kallah is offline
Join Date: 19 July 2004
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Posts: 2,598

Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
But the issue is that obesity does not cause health issues in and of itself. So how is it a disease?
While I'm generally on your side here, and agree that people who are only slightly over weight but are otherwise healthy and active are very unlikely to experience side effects of their obesity, that merely puts them at one end of a sliding scale. Very few diseases are an on/off switch; even the classic example of a broken bone can range from a life threatening open fracture to a greenstick break a person might walk on for months or years without noticing, until it heals on their own. However, the parameters for "broken bone" aren't limited to symptoms or the causing of health issues - it's defined by having a bone with a break in it, no matter how large or small. It has nothing to do with causing health issues or not.

I will happily concede that they may have set the lower limit for BMI as part of the diagnosis too low (and that using BMI at all is a terrible metric for considering someone's body composition), so right now people at the most shallow end of the obesity range are in fact extremely unlikely to experience symptoms of being overweight. However, the NIH, CDC, and nearly every major, reputable source I have encountered (including my own doctors and healthcare professionals) agrees that once obesity progresses many co-morbid diseases and complications potentially arise. If the minimum BMI should be higher, I do not know where the cut off should be. If another measurement should be used, I currently have no opinion on what should replace BMI for this diagnosis. If this line needs to be nudged in one direction or another to properly represent the disease, so be it, but the line has to be somewhere.
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