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Obesity billboard draws fire: Notion of it not being a choice stirs ‘ugly’ email

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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:09 PM
Original message
Obesity billboard draws fire: Notion of it not being a choice stirs ‘ugly’ email
People just suck, they really do. This AP report ran in my local paper this morning.

A northern Indiana hospital that erected billboards with the message “Obesity is a Disease. Not a Decision” is facing a backlash from people offended by the signs’ suggestion that obesity isn’t a lifestyle choice.

...director of bariatric services Lorri Field told the newspaper no one expected the angry phone calls or emails from people saying they were offended by the signs’ message about obesity’s root cause.

...Winfield resident September Vawter lashed out at the weight-loss program’s message in an email she sent to the hospital. She feels strongly that obesity is the result of lifestyle choices.

“There is no disease that causes your body to drive to McDonald’s to go get some fries. There is no disease that makes your hands unwrap a candy bar. It’s all habits,” her email said.
Link: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20111129/NEWS07/3...


The article goes on to note that the WHO, the CDC and even the IRS all consider obesity a disease. This is the consensus view of the medical community.
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good for September Vawter!
Common sense is all we need!!!!! Maybe it is a disease, MENTAL!
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Think about what you're saying.
Edited on Tue Nov-29-11 01:22 PM by salvorhardin
If it's the result of mental illness then by default people do not have control over their own eating.

If obesity is not a disease then you're saying it's a moral failing, or character defect. You're also advancing a form of science denialism, not much different from HIV-AIDS denialism. But then, I know there are more than a few members of this very forum who do deny that HIV causes AIDS.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Klukie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. You might want to read this ...
Fatty Foods Addictive as Cocaine in Growing Body of Science

By Robert Langreth and Duane D. Stanford - Nov 2, 2011 12:01 AM ET


Cupcakes may be addictive, just like cocaine.

A growing body of medical research at leading universities and government laboratories suggests that processed foods and sugary drinks made by the likes of PepsiCo Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) aren’t simply unhealthy. They can hijack the brain in ways that resemble addictions to cocaine, nicotine and other drugs.

“The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain.”


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-02/fatty-foods-ad...
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. oh puhleeze . . .
yes, SOME people just "overeat" - and some people make REALLY bad food choices (why is that, do you think? education? poverty? time?)

but - there are some people - a whole lot of damn people -who eat BETTER than YOU do and exercise MORE - and they STILL have weight issues!! Oft times it IS a MEDICAL problem! and people need to understand that.

I'm sick and f'ing tired of the holier than thou types who THINK they know wtf they're talking about. When it's pretty d obvious that they DON"T.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:20 PM
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3. Deleted message
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Still Blue in PDX Donating Member (633 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm sure there are people who think there is no disease that makes a person drive to a liquor store.
Is alcoholism a lifestyle choice? It's been recognized by the medical community as a disease for years now.

There are opinions and beliefs and facts, and sometimes it's hard to know what is what.

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lbrtbell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Alcoholism shouldn't be called a disease, either
Like obesity, alcoholism doesn't happen unless you consciously decide to do something that later becomes addictive--i.e., it's an addiction, like gambling. I'm NOT saying that an addiction doesn't need treatment--of course it does!--what I mean is, the medical community does patients with actual diseases a real disservice by misusing the word "disease".

For example, things that REALLY can't be helped, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc., are called "syndromes"--which gives everyone leeway to blame the patient for his/her problems because it's supposedly not a "disease". As a fibro sufferer myself, I can tell you that this is very much a disease that interferes with your quality of life, not just a cutesy little "syndrome". It runs in families, it's triggered by external stimuli (an accident, injury, or flu), and has every hallmark of a disease.

But there's a lot more money to be made by "treating" a "disease" like alcoholism or obesity, because more people drink and overeat.

I've had weight gain from meds I take, menopause, etc., but I've also been able to lose the weight when I do two things: Stop eating crap, and get off my duff and get moving. I'm not saying that being overweight is a moral failing, just that it's simply a condition brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle of too little physical activity and too much consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, etc. And while there are people who are overweight as the result of a real disease (thyroid problems, etc.), the vast majority of Americans are overweight because of their lifestyle.

I should know--I'm one of them. And today I'm going to take the first walk I've taken in a long time, because I need to lose weight before I make myself vulnerable to diseases like diabetes or heart disease.

Please don't think I'm looking down on people who are overweight. My concern is that using the word "disease" will only exacerbate people's already-ingrained tendency to want a magic (and non-existent) diet pill to replace good food and exercise. It's human nature to want a quick fix, but there is no quick fix for obesity or any other addiction. :(
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Very valid points!!!!
:yourock:
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. So by your standards is Anorexia not a disease either?
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. The syndrome problem isn't a problem with the word.
Edited on Tue Nov-29-11 08:31 PM by JoeyT
It's people not knowing what the word means that are the problem.

Syndrome: A group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition

Syndrome doesn't mean "Less serious than a disease". Many syndromes are just about as serious a condition as you could ever hope to find.

Anyone that blames a fibromyalgia sufferer for their problems is clearly suffering from cranial-rectal inversion syndrome.
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get the red out Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. I don't know the answer
But I believe there are many contributing factors to obesity. Instead of being angry at each other over disagreements on whether to blame the obese or not, we need to look hard at everything that has changed to make obesity rates increase dramatically over the past 30 years or so.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. What - do research and stuff, propose theories and test them instead
of accusing random strangers of being pigs! You're no fun at all!
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Remember Me Donating Member (730 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here's some scientific proof for you folks who know it's not just a willpower problem
Or, my favorite -- a mere problem of calories in and calories out.

New Evidence That Fat Cells Are Not Just Dormant Storage Depots For Calories
Researchers have targeted obesogens which are chemicals that disrupt the function of hormonal systems. An article from MSNBC details how they “enter our bodies from a variety of sources — natural hormones found in soy products, hormones administered to animals, plastics in some food and drink packaging, ingredients added to processed foods, and pesticides sprayed on produce. They act in a variety of ways: by mimicking human hormones such as estrogen, by misprogramming stem cells to become fat cells and, researchers think, by altering the function of genes.”
This research gives us more evidence and reason to advocate for organically grown whole foods. As the article suggests, you can enjoy the foods you love, just make sure they are from natural sources free of antibiotics and chemicals.
http://blog.integrativenutrition.com/2010/03/it%E2%80%9...


Can't keep the pounds off? It's your hormones; Australian study shows that dieters are struggling
NEW YORK — Any dieter knows that it's hard to keep off weight you've lost. Now a study finds that even a year after dieters shed a good chunk of weight quickly, their hormones were still insisting, "Eat! Eat! Eat!"
The findings suggest that dieters who have regained weight are not just slipping back into old habits, but are struggling against a persistent biological urge.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45053161/ns/health-diet_and...
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. Wouldn't it be more accurate to state "Addiction is a disease. Not a decision"?
I mean, its not obesity that a disease, its the addiction to food/eating (or drugs, or booze, or sex...) that is the disease, right?

Obesity is the RESULT of an addictive eating disorder. Its a symptom of the disease.

Am I missing something?
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astral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
16. It's hard to draw black-and-white lines.
Human behavior is a choice, but yet most of us are unable to 'behave' to the best of our potential. Obesity from diet choices, alcoholism "from" alcohol ingestion, drug addiction from drug use, these are only some of the more In-Your-Face effects of our behavior, very visible and obvious to others. I think with obesity it varies from individual to individual whether it is due to their behavior, as much as it varies how obese they are and how much they suffer from it.

I am pretty sure alcohlism is genetic, and it is a mystery to my why some people can overcome it and others must continue down the path to a slow miserable death. I really don't think it is a choice.

Perhaps food affects some people the way alcohol affects other people?

It is dangerous to preach that an alcoholic can not help themselves by stopping drinking, even though they may need help in stopping. How can we say an obese person can save themselves by --- well, stopping eating isn't what I want to say --- see, we can not judge from a distance whether or not they could help themselves by changing their diet, or whether they need outside help, or even whether outside help would be successful.

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