Obesity: Disease Or Personal Failure?
Obesity is considered a disease by American Medical Association but many people still think that it is a personal failure rather than just a medical condition. Research has shown that obese students tend to have poor performance in their school.
Obesity As A Disease
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of the adults in the United Sates are classified as obese. Some ethnic groups are even approaching a 50 percent obesity rate. With these figures, medical experts are urging physicians to treat obesity as a disease.
Dr. Caroline M. Apovian, professor of medicine and paediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, said that most people and even doctors consider obesity as a personal failure rather than a disease or a medical condition. They think that obesity can be dealt with just willpower, and just a matter of eating less and exercising more.
Dr. Apovian encourages physicians to prescribe bariatric surgery or anti-obesity pills. There are six medications for obesity treatment that are approved by US food and Drug Administration. She notes that among patients who are eligible to undergo surgery, less than one percent gets one. Only two percent of the patients who need an anti-obesity medication get a prescription.
Can Obesity Affect School Performance?
Some suggests that poor performance of students in the school is due to poor health development of the brain or due to effects of bullying. However, a new research shows that teacher discrimination may play an important role in the success or failure of the student.
Dr. Amelia Branigan, a professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, found the link between obesity and academic performance. According to her study, obese white girls have worse grades than their peers with normal weights. Teachers also gave them less rating as early as elementary. Dr. Branigan urges everyone not only to combat childhood obesity but also to counter negative social perceptions.