Monday, July 8, 2013

Obesity - a disease or not a disease, that's the question

On June 18, 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially classified obesity as a disease.  This news, of course, doesn't come without controversy as many do not view obesity as a disease, but more or less poor judgement in eating habits, etc.

Having been overweight my entire life, I have to agree that poor eating habits played into my obesity; however, uncontrollable medical circumstances is probably the major contributing factor in how it all spun out of control.

So, my biggest question is, what is the difference between alcoholism and obesity?  In 1991, the AMA classified alcoholism as a disease and most major insurance has some level of coverage where, depending on the carrier, obesity has none.  In 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, approximately 10,228 fatalities were alcohol related.  According to the National Institute of Health, more than 300,000 people die as a result to complications from obesity.

Here are the top 10 obesity related health problems:
1.  High Blood Pressure
2.  Diabetes
3.  Heart Disease
4.  High Cholesterol
5.  Cancer
6.  Infertility
7.  Back Pain
8.  Skin Infections
9.  Ulcers
10.  Gallstones

I can tell you from my own personal health, I have/had 4 of these and I am borderline for another 3!!  If you think about the cost to treat each individual condition, not to mention 4, to me, it makes better sense to treat the underlying issue - obesity.  If I take Belviq for 12 months, I figured the estimated cost (without insurance) would be about $2700.  That cost is so much cheaper than even covering co-pays to the doctor, lap, and RX for high cholesterol for my entire life.  It just makes sense.

The debate will always continue on if Obesity is a disease or not.  But Obesity can LEAD to disease and that's never been debated.

I am going to do some reading and studying on this issue and figure out how to lobby for insurance to be mandated to cover the treatment of obesity.  Maybe Obama care has it in there somewhere.

Let me know your thoughts on this issue........

NOTE:  I've added a DONATION button on my blog.  This is to help me pay for my belviq monthly since it is not covered by my insurance.  Anything in excess is going to be donated to people who also can not afford it for the same reason or because they do not have insurance at all.  I have been contacted by many wanting to know more information on if it is covered.  If you know what insurance carriers are for sure covering it (or even not covering it) please let me know.  Right now, BCBS-TX is NOT covering it.