Is Obesity a Disease?

Obesity rates have been on the rise in the United States for the past several decades, and with one in every three US adults being either overweight or obese it is no wonder as to why the topic of obesity has been so prominently in the headlines. While many people who struggle with excess weight want to lose weight for aesthetic purposes, or to fit into an old pair of jeans, there are actually a lot of health-related reasons to lose weight. In fact, some have gone so far as to call obesity in and of itself a type of disease, one that inhibits your ability to live an otherwise healthy life.

Recently, at a meeting of weight loss experts in Portugal, the argument was made that obesity needs to be thought of as a disease in order for better treatment options to be made available. Across the globe obesity rates are on the rise. A recent estimate in China predicts that by 2030 one in every four Chinese children will be obese. Similar estimates can be found throughout much of the developed world, including Europe and Australia.

The Health Issue of Obesity

Currently, Portugal is the only European nation that considers obesity a disease. Experts from across the world gathered and discussed the merits of changing the rhetoric surrounding obesity from being that of a lifestyle issue to that of a medical concern. The primary argument is that when you think of obesity as a disease, there is a lot more attention given to treatment options and care.

Whether you call obesity a disease or not, the bottom line is that obesity creates a lot of health problems. There is a long list of chronic illnesses that obesity will raise your risk for, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep Apnea

In addition to these physical health concerns, obesity will increase your risk for experiencing mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

The debate over whether to call obesity a disease or not doesn’t change the fact that obesity can significantly change your ability to live a healthy life. The longer you struggle with obesity, the more difficult it becomes to lose weight. Weight loss surgery is the most effective method for losing weight for those who are significantly overweight or obese. To learn more about weight loss surgery options, contact your weight loss surgeon.

Is Obesity a Disease?