You know that part in the Officer Krupke song of West Side Story, when the character says, “Hey, I gotta social disease!”?
O God, why do I think of life as one long musical comedy? Well I guess it’s better than a Shakespearian tragedy. I was listening to all the talk yesterday about how the AMA has now classified obesity as a disease. Here is what they said at their annual meeting:
“RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association recognize obesity as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.” http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/19/193440570/ama-says-its-time-to-call-obesity-a-disease
So, supposedly, if insurance company clerks agree with this assessment, they will pay more doctors for actually taking time to sit with patients and counsel them about the dangers of obesity, and how to fix and/or prevent it from happening. Sounds lovely in writing doesn’t it? So of course I had to ask my doctors what they thought…granted, this will apply to mostly family practice docs, but still.
“Probably just they’ll start covering more gastric bypass surgery,” the Bride said. She takes that global, public policy point of view, citing economic and social issues with our American widening of the collective belt.
“It’s good for the health of the country,” Bob says. More people will be able to access treatment and more insurance companies will have to pay for that treatment. One caveat he mentioned was similar to the Bride’s concern for an increase in gastric bypass surgery and lap bands – citing the fact that no surgery can be done without risk. He also wondered aloud if more drug companies will now push their efforts into finding the wonder drug for weight loss; you know, instead of curing cancer or AIDS.
Semantics – it’s all in a word and how we phrase something. Addiction was always thought of as a social disease. Alcoholics and drug addicts just needed to stop, just put the glass or the needle down for good, cold turkey. In this interview with Russell Brand, we get the sense of its (drugs and alcohol) complete and total mind/body control. http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8857821/fixing-a-hole/
“I cannot accurately convey the efficiency of heroin in neutralising pain. It transforms a tight white fist into a gentle brown wave, and from my first inhalation 15 years ago it fumigated my private hell. A bathroom floor in Hackney embraced me like a womb, and now whenever I am dislodged from comfort my focus falls there.”
The problem with food is that we need it, we can’t just put it down and stop eating. We can join a 12 step group and leave our bar-hopping days behind, but we still need to sit down at a dinner table. In Mika Brzezinski’s new book, she talks about her struggle with anorexia and her friend’s struggle with obesity as if they are 2 sides of the same coin. https://mountainmornings.net/2013/05/07/and-all-that/ So then it makes sense, if anorexia is considered a disease worth treating, why not treat obesity?
On a lighter note, the Love Bug is absolutely perfect! At her latest pediatric appointment (9 and 1/2 months), her height/weight charting shows her to be at the 68th percentile for weight, and 84th for height. “Yeah, I’m tall, you got a problem with that?”