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HomeLast Word → Is obesity a disease, a disability, both, or neither?

Is obesity a disease, a disability, both, or neither? Print E-mail
Written by Skeptical Scalpel, MD   
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 00:00

In 2013, the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease. Dr. Peter Ubel, writing in his blog on the Forbes website, thought this was a bad idea. He feared that calling obesity a disease will result in people having less motivation to lose weight and cited a study which found that people who were told that obesity is a disease tended to be less concerned about their weight and when offered a sandwich for a hypothetical lunch, chose less healthy food.

Although he gave good reasons why obesity should not be considered a disease, he favored retaining the disease label because it would help reduce the stigma attached to obesity and build public support for programs to conquer obesity. I am not sure about that.

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