Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weigh-ing On the Subject ...

Bringing more than most of you can to the table for a discussion of weight, I find myself siding with the AMA in their move opposing efforts by advocacy groups to make obesity "a disability."

According to
this report from and the Associated Press, "the American Medical Association has taken action to support doctors' ability to discuss obesity with their overweight patients. Under a new policy adopted Tuesday, the AMA formally opposes efforts by advocacy groups to define obesity as a disability."

I don't have a problem with the phrase "disability." Rather, my concern is whether we water-down that phrase through over-use. I'm speaking here of cases of obesity that arise from our habits, rather than cases of obesity caused by medical conditions over which the individual has no control ... in which case, a designation of "disability" might be applicable.


Cowtown Pattie said...

Hmmm, people like the mom in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, the morbidly obese could probably benefit from the catagorization.

But, I am wondering why the AMA sees a need to "formally oppose" such a thing?

Jeff said...

Miss Pattie, thanks for stopping-in! According to the article, "doctors fear using that definition makes them vulnerable under disability laws to lawsuits from obese patients who don't want their doctors to discuss their weight."

It's not an unreasonable fear, IMHO.

On another note ... in the actual world, Elder Son's soccer team did well enough this last season to play 'Classic League' in north Dallas ... maybe there will be a chance this fall/spring to meet you and the K-Man at Purple Cow, or wherever?