Is Obesity a Disease?

There is often a debate whether or not obesity is a disease or not. Disease is defined as an impairment of the normal functioning of some aspect of the body. Obesity is a disease because it impairs normal functions of the body, can be genetic, and some forms of government classify it as a disease. I believe obesity is a disease because of these reasons.

The first reason I believe obesity is a disease is because it decreases life expectancy and the quality of life. Obesity also impairs certain functions of the body causing it to be harder to participate in daily activities. According to ProCon.org obesity can affect the range of motion in knees and hips. Obesity also meets the definition of a disease. A disease is defined as… “an impairment of the normal functioning of some aspect of the body; harm or morbidity.” One could argue that obese people can still live long healthy lives. However, obese people have a 50-100% increased risk of death. Obesity caused about 300,000 deaths just last year. This is why I think obesity is a disease.

Secondly, obesity can be genetic. According to the CDC genes can directly cause obesity in specific disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. Many people can inherit obesity or disorders that make it easier to gain weight and harder to resist sweets and food.

Lastly, some governments classify it as a disease. Major Medical groups have identified obesity as a disease. Those organizations are… the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the Obesity Society. In 2013 Obesity was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association. These government organizations have access to lots of research and information. This leads me to believe they are correct by thinking obesity is a disease.