Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.
Another Guest Article from Ed Palmer. All hateful abuse should be directed towards him and his home address is available for a small fee. If you’re interested in writing for The Bastard Lounge, click here.
Last month the American Medical Association (AMA) officially declared that obesity was in fact a disease. This is something which I am personally outraged at, partly because I have an unofficial word limit with which I am able rant about this, but mainly because unlike what might be suggested in the title of this article, there is no actual debate to this; it is not a disease, much like tattoos aren’t skin infections and facial hair isn’t a tumour.
But we can’t just end this there; let’s have a bit of fun with this. If you look at it from the point of view that, actually, they do in fact have a disease, you can kind of see their point. They are restricted to their house for most of the day due to a lack of energy to get out of bed; they become allergic to any form of healthy food and the huge amount of growth on their bodies leave them looking like the Michelin Man. This is obviously a very serious illness then, but the important point to counter this is that….. wait for it…… it’s their own fucking fault.
From what I understand the key thing about a disease is that it is not self-inflicted, but if you spend your days eating 10,000 calories a day living off burgers and snacks you can’t blame it on genetics, much like in the same way you can’t call shooting yourself in the foot a disease. You’re causing the harm to yourself. The only connection that obesity has to disease is that the effects of being obese can lead to for example heart disease or diabetes, much like how tattoos aren’t a disease but they can potentially lead to haematomas.
A part of me feels that the AMA only really did this in order to try and end the jokes about their great nation being the most obese country in the world as a whopping 34% of them being obese, or as I should say now, as a whopping 34% having developed obesity through no fault of their own. If anything this would make the United States lose their power and influence across the world, because how can the so called most powerful nation on the planet be one that has a pandemic of obesity that affects a third of its population. It’s like a horror film but instead of turning into zombies the population turn into hippos that I wouldn’t put past buying a McBrain burger if it was for sale and it came with extra cheese and some free lard. I’d much rather people thought that a third of my population were just terrible at controlling what they eat than let them think we can’t control obesity.
Another key difference between obesity and a disease is that you can’t “cure” a disease by using your own devices. The most successful cure for obesity is exercise and dieting, which you can do yourself, and whilst you can get a gastric band or liposuction, the point is that you don’t have to, which is why I have no sympathy for an obese person who just sits on his/her arse all day and does fuck all exercise to end their misery, but if I see an obese person in the gym I actually have respect for them, as they are trying to “cure” themselves of their problem. They can’t cure themselves if they sit at home eating chocolate all day, it’s like taking heroin in a rehab clinic.
In some aspects I am actually rather looking forward to this new age where obesity is a disease. I’m looking forward to when people deliberately become obese to justify using a mobility scooter; I’m looking forward to when people deliberately become obese to “earn” special treatment at restaurants or on transport; but primarily I’m looking forward to when people deliberately become obese in order to have the day off work due to being ill. “I’m sorry sir I can’t come in today, whilst I’ve been able to come into work for the last five years I’ve been diagnosed with obesity, I’ll need the day off!”.
One thing that concerns me is that it will lead to people justifying their obesity rather than trying to combat it, and if god-forbid they have children, it could lead to them becoming obese as well. I can hear people now saying “well it’s a disease, it was passed onto them genetically”, but this is not the case. Much like with families who engage in criminal activity, the cause isn’t genetic, it’s to do with their environment. If they see mummy and daddy binging on fatty foods and snacks all day, they will as well because to them it is socially acceptable and it can’t be helped. Much like when baby pigeons shit in Trafalgar Square because they see the big pigeons doing so; they see the older pigeons do it so they in turn take part in this act. This is best summarised by The Simpsons after Homer becomes obese and gets to work at home much to Bart’s admiration.
“When I grow up, I’m gonna be a lardo on workman’s comp, just like Dad.”
– Bart Simpson
Now these people may be doctors at the head of their field, but I am an angry student with access to the internet and as you might have guessed from this angry rant, am therefore declaring that the answer to this “debate” is that no, obesity is not a disease, it is their own fault as they don’t exercise and diet properly, and the AMA is just trying to make their country look better by saying “it’s not our fault”; and the fact that instead of looking into medical research they took the time to debate whether obesity was a disease proves that Americans really do live up to their stereotypes sometimes: fat and stupid.