Obesity can be defined as a health condition that arises as a result of high accumulation of body fat, which can cause health complications. Obesity is not similar to being overweight. “A person may be overweight from extra muscle, bone, or water, as well as from having too much fat” (Harcombe 23). Taking in excess calories that the body does not require can lead to obesity. This is because the calories that are not consumed by the body are usually stored in form of body fats. “Having a sedentary life without proper body exercise, alcohol consumption, and over eating are common causes of obesity” (Harcombe 42). Managing obesity has become quite demanding for most of the victims. For example, some people try to cut on their weight only to end up adding more weight. Many health experts have debated on classification of obesity. To some it is a disease while to others it is not. In my view, obesity should not be regarded as a disease because of the following reasons.
Obesity does not interfere with body functions the way other diseases do. For instance, several individuals that have obesity lead normal lives without experiencing any physical problems. Many diseases usually jeopardize the ability of to live longer. However, some persons have had obesity for long, yet they have not had medical challenges triggered by obesity. Personal life is what determines the chances of an individual developing obesity. For example, if a person has poor diet, that has extra carbohydrates, he stands high chances of becoming obese.
Apart from excess body fat, which is also used for defining obesity, there are no other known symptoms of it. Several diseases are often manifested by several symptoms. Moreover, diseases are generally triggered by pathogens, such as bacteria and virus, but obesity is not. Even though obesity may be a possible cause of some medical complications, it is a risk factor that can be avoided. For instance, smoking is a habit that enhances the likelihood of developing lung cancer and it can be avoided. Consequently, by avoiding obesity one reduces his chances of developing heart diseases. Although obesity poses numerous health complications, to some extent, it has positive effects on health. For example, it lessens the capacity of one to have osteoporosis, and it can also add the mass of bones.
Despite the fact that obesity cases are increasing, it should not be used as an excuse forcing obese people to service higher premiums. This would be extremely unfair because charging them higher premiums is not a viable way of dealing with obesity. Charging higher premiums can also become counter productive. For example, some obese individuals may have to work in the office for longer hours, to raise the extra premium. Consequently, this will make them have even lesser time for exercising, and this might worsen their conditions. The fact that obese people need more health attention is also a fallacy because some obese individuals do not have obesity related health problems. Hence, it would be unfair to charge them extra premiums. Furthermore, some cases of obesity may be hereditary, and it would be inhuman to charge such people more premiums. This is because it is not their desire to have it.
Harcombe, Zoe. The Obesity Epidemic: What Caused It? How Can We Stop It? New York: Columbus Publishing Ltd, 2010.