Why it Matters to Call Obesity a Disease


Recently, at a conference in Portugal, medical experts called for a change in the way that we speak about obesity. Across the globe obesity rates are on the rise. Talk about an obesity epidemic has dominated headlines for several decades in the United States, with one in every three US adults being obese or overweight.

And while much of the conversation about obesity in America starts pointing fingers at the sedentary American lifestyle that is heavy in desk-work careers together with the growth of the fast-food industry, it is growing more and more apparent that these attributes are not necessarily unique to the United States. This so-called “American lifestyle” may actually be more of a product of the time that we live in than the place that we live, according to experts.

Obesity: A Global Health Problem

In China, one in every four kids is expected to be obese by 2030. Similar obesity rates are becoming present in Australia and throughout Europe. This rapid growth in the obesity issue globally is prompting many to call for a shift in the way that we talk about obesity.

In the United States, talk of an obesity as a disease has been present for the greater part of the past decade. Still, obesity isn’t entirely accepted as a disease in and of itself. Health experts say that this refusal to consider obesity a disease, not just in the United States but across the world, is part of the reason as to why so many people are still struggling with obesity.

Losing weight is difficult to do, but for those who struggle with obesity the challenge is even greater. The longer you struggle with obesity, and the more excess weight that you carry, the more difficult losing weight becomes. Medical weight loss intervention like weight loss surgery is the most effective method available for helping people lose weight. However, if you don’t think of obesity as a medical issue or a disease, then you are less likely to seek the medical support that you need to help you lose weight.

Being overweight or obese increases your likelihood of experiencing a series of medical problems, including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea and arthritis. Obesity also increases your risk of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

When you start talking about obesity as the disease that it is, more people are open to seeking the medical support they need to help them reach their weight loss goals. If you are struggling with obesity or excess weight, don’t waste any more time trying to lose weight on your own. Weight loss programs are available to help you achieve your goals. Talk to your weight loss surgeon about the best bariatric surgery options for you.