Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
While many Americans today affected by obesity are being anchored down by their heavy weight physically and mentally, there are those who would argue that this condition is not at all a disease. Opponents of obesity sometimes develop the wrong idea that obesity is actually a lifestyle choice. So when these people hear about a drug that could fight obesity, currently under trial by the FDA, they don’t particularly care for it because they feel like these people could just choose to stop being obese. This is a flaw in logic that must be addressed before I can convince people that Qnexa should be passed. It stems from another problem: misinformation. Although obesity is not actually classified as a disease, it is far from merely being a lifestyle choice and has been proven to be full of dangers that cannot simply be given up due to many physical and financial restrictions placed on so many obese people.
First of all, obesity cannot simply be generalized as a lifestyle choice. To say that would be ignoring all of the factors that are tied into a person’s weight. Evidence suggests that genetics, wealth, environments, and even the health of mothers during pregnancy can shape a person’s body. Just because an obese person eats does not mean that person is choosing to remain obese. Obesity can start even before birth. When a mother is overweight or obese during her pregnancy, she risks developing gestational diabetes. This gestational diabetes can cause the child to be born with a high birth weight. Children born with high birth weight become susceptible to childhood obesity, the precursor to its adult form. Even before pregnancy, certain genes can cause people to inherit thyroid deficiencies. The thyroid is a gland responsible for metabolizing of energy. When it doesn’t function properly, energy will not be used and will be stored as fat. Just like a person can inherit genes, they also inherit wealth to varying degrees. Healthy food is expensive and cheap food often lacks nutrition. When a person cannot gather the essential nutrients to carry out bodily functions, because of their environment or economical status, the body stores fat. Even psychological factors or habits unrelated to food or exercise can cause a person to gain weight. With that said, obesity is far from being a lifestyle choice for so many Americans.
A person arguing that drugs shouldn’t be passed for obesity since it isn’t a disease is relying on incomplete information. Without enough information on the subject, a person can warp any argument in their favor if they are speaking to a non-skeptical crowd. Firstly, the FDA has passed a plethora of drugs targeting many “non-diseases” classified as medical conditions or disorders. The fact that obesity is a medical condition according to the CDC should not be taken as an excuse to disregard its prevalence and dangers. It also has ties to many diseases and other conditions that unfortunately cannot always be treated by a drug and are usually irreversible. Such diseases like coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and osteoarthritis are just some of many complications that a person becomes susceptible to as they continue their lives as obese. Passing Qnexa can help stray these people away from the dangers they’re headed toward.
Some opponents of anti-obesity campaigns argue that most people don’t even die from obesity. Even if a person doesn’t view obesity specifically as a disease, it’s tied to enough medical complications, diseases, and conditions to cause it to be a big concern for the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Its Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) is attempting to address the issue by combating some of the factors that contribute to nation’s current epidemic. If the situation were left alone, many Americans would die. While obesity doesn’t always directly cause a person to die, most of the time an obese person dies due to a disease or condition they developed because they were obese. “Individuals who are obese have a significantly increased risk of death from all causes, compared with healthy weight individuals.” (WIN) Even though obesity cannot technically be deemed as the cause of death, it indirectly takes the lives of the people it has affected in one form or another.
Most arguments against the danger of obesity fail to realize that the condition is not as simple as eating too much and looking big. The reason why obesity has become the condition it is in the United States is due to many economical, environmental, and genetic factors. Without proper education on the various stressors that are affecting those plagued by obesity, progress toward the solution will not be any easier. Safe measures should be adopted to help the situation, like the adoption of DNPAO programs and approval of safe drugs like Qnexa. These measures can help lower the mortality rates associated with obesity.
“Gestational Diabetes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2012.
“Overweight and Obesity Statistics.” WIN. Web. 03 Apr. 2012.