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  #21  
Old 04 July 2013, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
True. I didn't phrase that well at all.

I guess what I was getting at is that my body is, in general, healthy. It's healthier than that of many thin people I know. But, now, it's a disease. My body is a disease. It doesn't sit well.
I understand how you feel. I can agree that being overweight in and of itself shouldn't necessarily be an issue. However it does become an issue the bigger you are. My moment of realization that my weight wasn't "just" a cosmetic thing came when I fell ill a new years ago and because of my weight I needed specialized treatment to have certain medical procedures done. I was only about 50 lbs over what would be a normal weight (well high normal anyway) but still I couldn't just go in and have certain tests without there being a special effort made because of my weight .

I comforted myself for years that I was otherwise healthy so I was prepared to make peace with my weight. That was a major wake up call for me.
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  #22  
Old 04 July 2013, 06:09 PM
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Just wondering out loud.

There was at one time concern that some conditions were being created as diseases in order for people to receive treatment for them under the benefit of insurance claims. Could this be a factor in deciding that obesity is a disease or not?
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  #23  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:11 PM
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Sue, if the ordinary testing equipment isn't designed for people of your weight, why does that mean that your weight is an illness?

Quite a lot of the modern world isn't designed for people of my height. My frequent need for a stepstool or a footstool doesn't mean that being short is an illness.

UEL, very likely. I think that was discussed by several posts earlier in this thread -- in particular, #17 and #18.
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  #24  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
UEL, very likely. I think that was discussed by several posts earlier in this thread -- in particular, #17 and #18.
I have no idea how I missed that. Colour me embarrassed.
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  #25  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Sue, if the ordinary testing equipment isn't designed for people of your weight, why does that mean that your weight is an illness?
I don't care if obesity is recognized as a disease or not and can understand why this bothers some people, but I learned extra weight has negative consequences in terms of managing my health and I stopped believing that the only downside to being heavy was having to shop in the plus sizes.
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  #26  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I have no idea how I missed that. Colour me embarrassed.
Happens to me all the time.

ETA: Sue, that may be true, overall, in your specific case; I've no idea of your medical condition. But it isn't necessarily true of everybody. And there are medical problems also associated with being thin; but we don't define thinness as a disease unless it is extreme. I agree that being so heavy that one can't get up and walk is very likely to cause medical problems; as is being medically anorectic. I disagree that being in much of the weight category currently considered to be obesity has been shown to cause more medical problems in people who are active and eating well than being on the lower end of the weight range currently considered to be normal.

Some medical problems may be damned if you do, damned if you don't. Broken bones due to osteoporosis exacerbated by thinness, or aching joints exacerbated by heavy weight? As we get older, we're all likely to wind up aching from something.

Last edited by thorny locust; 04 July 2013 at 07:59 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:51 PM
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I learned extra weight has negative consequences in terms of managing my health.
I understand that firsthand. The equipment issue would give me pause, too, although it wouldn't necessarily rank very high in my overall priorities.
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  #28  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I understand that firsthand. The equipment issue would give me pause, too, although it wouldn't necessarily rank very high in my overall priorities.
It wasn't equipment it was the placement of big honking needles in my spine . I had that procedure repeated last year (and almost 40 lbs lighter) and it went much easier. Still wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a way to pass a sunny afternoon though.
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  #29  
Old 04 July 2013, 07:59 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
but I learned extra weight has negative consequences in terms of managing my health and I stopped believing that the only downside to being heavy was having to shop in the plus sizes.
I can understand your experience with that. My point is that, as someone who wears a 16/18 at 5'9" and has excellent health indicators, yet happens to fall in the BMI range for "obese," I am now considered diseased. I fit just fine in regular seats on airplanes. I can run really, really fast. I can swim fast as well. I can easily climb several flights of stairs. Could I be in better shape? Well, sure. But I'm not a diseased person. Do some people who fall into the category of "obese" have health problems directly related to weight? Of course. But not all of us do.
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  #30  
Old 05 July 2013, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
But I'm not a diseased person. Do some people who fall into the category of "obese" have health problems directly related to weight? Of course. But not all of us do.
Many people who fall into the far minor end of the sizable list of seizure causing illnesses are perfectly functional, sociable, seemingly healthy adults who you would never recognize as having a disease unless were their medical professional. They might have exactly one seizure in their life, which lead to their diagnosis, and then never suffer another episode again. That doesn't change the fact that the chemical balances in their body are off* from a healthy person's, and that balance will likely remain off* without treatment. Just because you don't have "health problems directly related to weight" doesn't mean you don't have the disease - it means you don't have any symptoms right now. You might never have symptoms, or you might run into them later, when other factors such as age and lifestyle change. Just like the "lucky" friend of mine who has only had three seizure in 40-odd years of life, the disease remains even when the obese person is asymptomatic for a long period of time.

*A very simple explanation of a very complex situation, I know.
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  #31  
Old 05 July 2013, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
Just because you don't have "health problems directly related to weight" doesn't mean you don't have the disease - it means you don't have any symptoms right now. You might never have symptoms, or you might run into them later, when other factors such as age and lifestyle change.
By that type of definition, we are all diseased, every last one of us; and so is everything else that is alive. We all have a mortal illness, as we are all going to die sooner or later. And almost all of us who live into old age will have symptoms in addition to that final one.

Again: there is a distinct lack of proof that people who are by current definitions obese, but who are active and eating a reasonable diet, are likely to have more such difficulties overall than those who are by current definitions on the thin end of normal. Being thin also carries increased risk, though of different medical problems. The studies that have been done do not generally* separate out the fat and fit from the fat and inactive and/or the fat who eat well from those who eat poorly; although they do, for the most part, separate out the thin and healthy from the thin and ill, and the thin who use tobacco from the thin who don't.


*in fact, I have seen no study that does this. That of course doesn't mean that none exists; if anybody can find a well-done study that does show such comparisons, I'd be interested to see it.
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  #32  
Old 05 July 2013, 04:16 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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, the disease remains even when the obese person is asymptomatic for a long period of time.
But the issue is that obesity does not cause health issues in and of itself. So how is it a disease?
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  #33  
Old 05 July 2013, 04:56 PM
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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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  #34  
Old 05 July 2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
But the issue is that obesity does not cause health issues in and of itself...
What do you mean by this?
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  #35  
Old 05 July 2013, 04:58 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
but the line has to be somewhere.
The problem is that the tool used to draw the line (BMI) is faulty. Until a better one can be found, calling all who fall on the wrong side of that line "diseased" isn't valid.
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  #36  
Old 05 July 2013, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
What do you mean by this?
That "obesity," as defined by having a BMI over 30 or greater, does not cause health problems in and of itself.
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  #37  
Old 05 July 2013, 05:12 PM
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Are you saying some people can have a BMI of more than 30 with no effects or that carrying extra fat never has any affect on someone?
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  #38  
Old 05 July 2013, 05:17 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Yes to both depending on what "extra" fat is anyway. How are you defining that?
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  #39  
Old 05 July 2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
The problem is that the tool used to draw the line (BMI) is faulty.
That's something we can heartedly agree on then; as I mentioned above I don't feel BMI is an effective tool for measuring a person's body composition. While the use of a faulty measurement might mean that some people on the low end of the requirements (~30BMI) don't actually have the disease, it doesn't mean that the disease doesn't exist, or that those who have a later stage of the disease won't have symptoms. It just means some people are being incorrectly diagnosed.
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