Human Exceptionalism

Over Eaters’ Over-Eating Now a “Disease”

Character is “out.” Diseases are “in.” Everything is being medicalized. Obesity is the latest example, with the AMA now supporting the idea that obesity is a “disease.”

Surprise, surprise: Redefining obesity into a “disease” allows the emerging technocracy to grow and gain power and control over our lives. From the AMA Medical News story:

Lawmakers introduced bipartisan bills in the Senate and House to lower health care costs and prevent chronic diseases by addressing the nation’s obesity epidemic. Although the timing was coincidental, observers say the declaration by the AMA House of Delegates meeting in June probably will have a significant impact in adding momentum to policy, research and treatment approaches to obesity — including a new dimension in exam room conversations between doctors and patients…

The declaration already is sparking discussions among medical organizations about the biologic, environmental and genetic factors contributing to unhealthy weight. Such conversations are important, because obesity long has been attributed to poor behavior, which fueled stigma against the disease, health experts say. “Many of us believe that this is going to propel a critical mass effect so that we will see a lot of action,” said Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, president of the American Assn. of Clinical Endocrinologists. He wrote the resolution on designating obesity as a disease with colleagues from his organization and others.

Declaring obesity a “disease” is part of an international effort, as I noted in the Weekly Standard some time ago, to transform the campaign against obesity into the new global warming. Indeed, the proposed policy remedies are nearly identical.

Sure, obesity can be caused by a bodily dysfunction. And we have genetic propensities. But mostly, we the overweight, are too heavy because of our own choices.  

That’s just crazy talk, Wesley! Taking a second helping of pasta or smearing three slices of dinner bread with butter, or enjoying a 3:00 PM ice cream cone, are merely “symptoms”of a “disease”–requiring “the experts” and “the scientists” and “the politicians” and “the bureaucrats”–to save us.

And in so defining the problem, character and self-discipline grow increasingly archaic concepts. Self-restraint and discipline are government-supplied through “programs.”  

This all comes at a very high cost: With the enervation of personal responsibility comes a concomitant stifling of personal liberty. Low expectations for individual behavior, it seems to me, is the real “disease” afflicting us in the modern age.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Culture

The Absurd Crusade against the Salvation Army

We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that's all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad. Such is the case regarding the ... Read More
Culture

The Absurd Crusade against the Salvation Army

We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that's all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad. Such is the case regarding the ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Messy, Nuanced Triumph

After a pipe bomb exploded at a concert held to celebrate the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the FBI came to suspect that the security guard who discovered the device might have planted it to gain a reputation as a hero. The knotty story of that security guard, Richard Jewell, does not lend itself ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Messy, Nuanced Triumph

After a pipe bomb exploded at a concert held to celebrate the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the FBI came to suspect that the security guard who discovered the device might have planted it to gain a reputation as a hero. The knotty story of that security guard, Richard Jewell, does not lend itself ... Read More