No surprise that diseases are political. What are we marching “against” this week?
Never mind. What you might not have known is that how the word is applied is decided by politics. Stubbed toes are not a disease, but self-inflicted drunkenness is. And don’t let’s get started on mental “diseases.” “Johnny is not acting like a girl. This pill will cure him.”
Never mind! The AMA decided to call obesity a “disease.” Here’s the key quote: “being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including”, well, everything.
I want you to repeat the logical truth with me “‘Increases the risk of’ does not mean has.” Chant that twice or thrice and then memorize this example. If you have a risk of 0.0000000001 of contracting a malady, and if you engage in a behavior which triples that risk, you now have a risk of 0.0000000003. Call the EPA.
Next comes figures in dollars. Obesity costs X dollars, heart disease Y. Everything human reduced to money. How depressing.
The AMA and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists have concluded
that the disease of obesity must be addressed using a robust medical model for treatment and prevention that includes lifestyle modifications, medications, and surgery together with interventions targeted to public education, behavioral change, and the built environment.
Bioedge rightly says this decision will “medicalise a condition which affects one-third of all Americans.” Yes, soon everybody will have a disease, and since diseases require intervention, everybody will have to be looked after. And because diseases cost money, as we are endlessly reminded, the more people classified as having a disease, the greater the costs will be, therefore the louder the call for more “investment” into prevention and “cures.”
That in course means a larger bureaucracy, which will recognize the problem is ever “growing worse.”
At least we can be cheerful with the implication that, since obesity is now a disease, it isn’t the fault of those that catch it. That is, it’s not your doing. But since everything has to have a cause, and the disease wasn’t caused by those who have it, it must be somebody’s fault. Probably somebody with money. Say food companies and restaurants.