Howard Rosen, MD
The National Institutes of Health had declared obesity a disease in 1998 and the American Obesity Society did so in 2008. This decision would be expected to improve insurance coverage and reimbursement to providers for treating individuals with obesity.
As someone who suffers from a comparatively mild case of obesity, The declaration of obesity as a disease is a significant disservice to Americans. My struggle with obesity began when I quit smoking cigarettes at age 42 in 1982.
My doctor suggested some lifestyle changes that included adding regular physical activities to my routine and reduce my consumption of fats and sweets. That seemed simple enough, so I began to walk a couple of miles each evening and monitor the amount of fried foods and fatty foods in my diet. That change managed to stabilize my weight, but did not result in any significant weight loss.
Fast-forward 20 years, I retire and move back to my home state of Louisiana, 49.7% of the population is considered obese, and yes my weight skyrocketed in less than six months I gained 30 pounds. Why, lots of Cajun style fried food, starchy foods, sweets and red meat. My daily walks increased to three miles twice a day, mornings and evenings. If you guess no improvements in my weight management, you are right.
A chronology of what the next ten years were like will be very familiar to you if you have been trying to manage your weight for some time. Being retired, during the ten years mentioned, Dr. Google became my advisor. The American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association became my favorite sites to surf for new articles and references for guidance. My simple quest was to define healthy eating and active lifestyles, the two most mentioned tools for weight management.
Weight management was my creation because I hated the thought of being considered obese after seeing the pictures that always accompanied articles on the subject of obesity. Secondly, at this point in my struggle I understood how difficult it is to lose weight so losing weight was no longer my goal, my goal was and is weight management.
As my vocabulary of weight management options grew my tools increased also, physical fitness, dietary options, metabolism, digestion and fasting became regular searches for me as I began to take control of my weight. No longer considered obese my routine still consist of morning and afternoon walks, down to two miles each now, every other day trips to the gym, one and a half to two hours of resistance training, my dietitian tells me my eating habits are “Clean,” and I practice intermittent fasting 16-8. It’s a lot easier than trying to lose weight.
Obesity may be a disease, I don't know the clinical definition of disease, but it must have something to with whether pharmaceutical companies have patented a drug to threat it or not. A Google search today will return with the various new drugs that are now on the market to treat obesity.
Experience says reducing prepared foods, sugar of all sources, and increasing fresh vegetables, seeds and nuts along with a moderate resistance training fitness routine will go a long way to helping you manage your weight, and feel and look great.