New Obesity Guidelines
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
What is obesity? Based upon some 500,000 peer reviewed scientific studies, Obesity Canada is now saying, very simply, that obesity exists when body fat affects health. A particular person's health. It's an individualized assessment.
So: obesity is NOT about BMI over 30, the amount of fat, where the fat is on the body, the type of fat . . . although these measures can be important aspects of health assessment.
And obesity is NOT "cured" by eating less and exercising more. It's a chronic condition that will need to be managed for the individual's lifetime. We're not very successful in treating obesity once it's happened -- so a good deal of the focus needs to be on preventing obesity in the first place. When obesity occurs, the appropriate treatment for obesity is improving the patient's health -- not necessarily focussing on weight loss.
We don't improve peoples' health when we discriminate against the obese -- when we judge that people with obesity must be "stupid and lazy and not worthy of equal care". Even fat doctors who are obesity specialists experience such discrimination!!
And we don't improve peoples' health when we characterize drug or surgical treatments for obesity as somehow "cheating", moral failure: because obese people "should" simply discipline themselves, motivate themselves, and practise better will power.
Obesity is not only chronic, it's complex -- and the causes are genetic, metabolic, behavioural and environmental. Yeah. That's what that 2018 BBC documentary "The Truth About Obesity" taught us.
Nice to see Obesity Canada adopting and implementing some of this research information!!