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Obesity a disease?

  1. Jul 16, 2004 #1
    I just read the following article and can't understand why stapling the stomach would be an expense that might get covered under insurance?


    If stapling the stomach reduces the amount of food that gets in, is that the same as saying that food causes the disease? Why not wire the jaws shut? Would my gym membership and dietary suppliments be covered under insurance? Will this fall under the Americans with Disability Act(title?)? I understand that there are circumstances that are legitimately medical in nature that would cause a person to gain weight no matter the attempted prevention but COME ON!! Are my insurance rates going to go up due to a flood of new claimants filing for treatment of this new disease because they are addicted to unhealthy food? If so, I think there will be that much more of a stigma associated with obesity through resentment than there currently is. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my pasta with cream sauce, chowing at the chinese food restaurant till it hurts to breath, my #4 no-onions super-sized with a bladder-buster, and I can't remember the last time I ate rabbit food unless it was on a bun, but lets be real here folks.

    Isn't this more of a psycological issue? You know, changing habits and what not. Comfort foods and all...

    What's next? Hair loss? Ugliness? Body odor?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2004 #2


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    Insurance pays for stomach stapling because obesity itself generally causes health problems that cost more than the stapling surgery.

    Yes, obesity is certainly a disease, and yes, it is a generally psychological in nature. There are a few people who have medical conditions that physically prevent them from maintaining their weight, however.

    - Warren
  4. Jul 16, 2004 #3
    Thanks. Thyroid fluctuation (hyper/hypo) is one believe. Are there any others?
  5. Jul 16, 2004 #4
    Many insurance companies will pay for bariatric surgeries for the same reason they pay for bypass surgeries, insulin pumps, blood-pressure medicines, nebulizers, and so on and so on. Many, many disease processes have a psychological aspect to them. People won't exercise, live a life of indulgence and poor eating habits, then, surprise, have heart disease. They smoke, then develop emphysema.Type II diabetes is often precipitated by a sedentary lifestyle as well. People stay in bad relationships, wrecking havoc with their physical systems. You can even point to a psychological cause of many trauma injuries (won't wear seatbelts, engage in dangerous activities such as rock climbing when they have not properly trained, and so forth). The result of overeating is certainly very visible, but many medical conditions are brought about or worsened by personal behavior.
  6. Jul 16, 2004 #5
    every western nation pretty much need to get a friggin wakeup call on health issues... if smoking and obesity didn't cause some really big national bills, i would just let it be the users (former smoker myself) deal with it themselves... (of course more info on related diseases would be a nice supplement to every cigarette and hamburger in the world...)
    but since this is not the case, i can't see why smoking should be disallowed almost everywhere where other people are subjected to it... this includes workplaces, restaurants and bars... they migth wanna **** up the last 5 years they have to live (those are usually the worst for smokers, not the actual dying itself) but it's damn irresponsible to subject others to the same hazards... that's like bringing a bug-spray to public places and walking around, spraying it into the faces of other people... guess what? that would count as being illegal...

    there's only one way to fix the food problem though... info, info, info everywhere... teach the kids about health from young age... and good nurishing food in schools and cafeterias (notice how sandwiches always have a 1 inch layer of butter or miracle whip that you have to scrape off before devouring?)...
    the problem is, that people think drinking diet coke with the hamburger and "ligth" fries is healthy food... info, info, info... people need to get a clue...

    'aigth... i'll get off my soap box now, before i over-heat... ;)
  7. Jul 16, 2004 #6


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    I wonder how life expectancy differs between the two hemispheres.
  8. Jul 16, 2004 #7
    well.. half the population of china smokes... but they've very few alcoholics in the eastern hemisphere and, compared to the populace, very few McD's and BK's... plus they've generally got an attitude about a healthy mind in a healthy body... it's not all silly compared to what we're experiencing over here...
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