Thursday, June 20, 2013

Honeymoon Ideas and AMA Declares Obesity a 'Disease'?

So, whats the most fun thing about planning your wedding? Well I would have to say that aside from all the great family and friend stuff you get to do, the best part is looking at honeymoon options! We started in the last few weeks looking at a few options including Disney cruises or potentially some great beaches. I really want to find a place that I have never been to before, possibly in another country because I don't have that much international travel experience and that is something I definitely want. We have a lot of time to figure it out but the problem is there are so many wonderful options! I want to go everywhere - Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, Spain, a cruise, etc. I am the type of person that does not like having a lot of options like with my wedding gown for example. (which I get back in July after 1st round of alterations-eeee!) I only wanted to go to 3-4 bridal stores at the maximum because if I went to 15 different stores it would make it that much harder to pick something because I will constantly be thinking "well, what if the next store has something better?" I prefer to narrow it down and just choose and I feel like I need to do this with the honeymoon too.

Have you had a honeymoon? Where did you go? Do you have any suggestions for magical places?

The other half of this blog that I just had to write about when I saw it, is that the AMA (American Medical Association) had their annual meeting in Chicago in the past week and one of the big revelations that came out of it was that they are officially classifying obesity as a disease. Read the article here.

Now, this I am torn about and I understand that it's a difference in opinion or definition of disease but for me, I don't think of obesity as a disease. A medical condition - yes, a problem - yes, of course but I think of diseases as more malfunctions of the body that are usually not brought on through your own action. I understand this is not an across the board definition but simply how I think about it.

The medical definition of a disease is
1. (Medicine / Pathology) any impairment of normal physiological function affecting all or part of an organism, esp a specific pathological change caused by infection, stress, etc., producing characteristic symptoms; illness or sickness in general

Now this definition is pretty general, especially when you consider the "etc" they threw in there which means that basically a disease can be caused by anything. Here is the issue that I take with defining 'obesity' as a disease; the reasoning that brought this vote up was that if obesity was defined as a disease, than it would be "de-stigmatized" and would be more widely covered by health insurance for its treatment, drugs could be pushed through and is supposed to create better health care outcomes. Now, let's take a look at this - this is for the treatment of obesity,  meaning that for a person to get treatment under insurance or get any of the benefits they are hoping for, the person already has to be considered obese. So, we are treating the disease but not the cause? Would it not be better to create programs and legislation that PREVENTS obesity instead of making it easier to treat once its already a problem? Studies have shown that even for those who lose weight, even a small portion of your life being obese can have severe impacts on your health down the road so it would stand to reason that it would be better to just never be at that point to begin with, right?

Also, and I understand that this may be controversial and I am sorry to offend if it is, but in most cases health issues and weight are a direct results of the choices we make everyday. We choose to reach for an apple and not a candy bar, we choose to get up early and go to the gym or sit on the couch, and we choose to take control of our health or not before it gets out of control. I do understand that there are some people for whom this is not the case and there are real physiological reasons for weight gain, addiction or perhaps it is brought on by the side effects of medication but for most, it's a personal lifestyle issue.  Can it be dangerous to tell people, "oh it isn't your fault - you have a disease"? Would this way of thinking exacerbate the problem more by telling people that it's something that happened TO them and not "BECAUSE" of them?

There is an article in Time Magazine (an opinion piece) that explains this much better than I can.

I think that the best snippit that speaks to what I am trying to say is this:

"In addition, incorrectly categorizing people who can control their lifestyle by changing their diet or becoming more physically active as being unable to do so without medical help could lead to unnecessary surgery, drug treatments and other interventions that come with side effects and complications. College binge drinkers typically cut down on their own after graduation; similarly, most people with mild weight problems do not require medical attention"

I understand there are benefits and consequences of this classification and I just wonder what will happen in this country if we don't start making preventative medicine and healthy lifestyles a part of our ingrained culture. Will we destroy ourselves? or continue to make excuses for our excess?

What are your thoughts?


  1. We went to Brasil and it was the best decision ever!!!

  2. I think I would really like Brazil but they speak portuguese not spanish, right?