Before I start this post, I must say that I don’t have any health qualification. Everything that I say in the following post is my own opinion based on the observations of my own weight struggles.
One of the constants during my mental health treatment has been that I am not my illness. I HAVE depression, I am not depression. It helps to realise that we have an identity outside our mental illness. However that doesn’t really work for obesity. It’s not something that I have, it’s something that I am.
Obese is not all of who I am, I don’t magically become a better or worse person because of my weight, regardless of what certain psychiatrists believe. A person shouldn’t be judged on the weight that they are. Yet many people feel that they can and even have the right to judge someone because of their size.
The judgement seems to have pushed the belief that obesity is a disease on it’s own, something that I don’t believe. It is my belief that obesity is a symptom, it’s not a disease. I feel that labeling obesity as a disease in its own rights can be dangerous. I worry that some people will believe that because they now have an illness, that there is nothing they can doing about their health, because being obese is more about health and less about physical appearance.
I think that this line of thinking is wrong, that there is a reason that someone is obese but it doesn’t mean that it’s a disease. A reason that is often a lot more complex than ‘stop shoving burgers in your mouth’. There is a plethora of reasons that a person gains and is unable to lose weight. It’s only by finding these reasons that someone with weight issues can begin to move towards a healthier body. That’s why I am hesitant to call it a disease on its own.
Obesity is a symptom of something deeper, whether that be physical or mental and I think that those things are what we need to be focusing on. I don’t need to be labelled as diseased either by myself or the medical field. I don’t need another label to try and distance myself from.
Do you think that obesity is a disease?
Do you think more needs to be known about contributing factors to obesity?