Obesity and Psychiatry
On June 18, 2013 the American Medical Association voted to declare obesity a disease.
Obesity and various eating disorders have been a topic of discussion at the American Psychiatric Association for some time. The debate continues, whether to declare obesity a psychiatric disorder or not.
- Obese: (medical definition) An abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight, where ideal body weight corresponds to the weight having the lowest death rate for individuals of a specific height, gender and age. In general practice, obese corresponds to a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, where BMI = (weight in pounds)*703 / [(height in inches)*( height in inches)].
BMI is used because for most people it correlates with the amount of body fat, although BMI does not directly measure body fat. Observation and judgment are therefore part of the determination. There are many other considerations that could be taken into account, including age, gender, culture, body frame size, and general health.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Revision 4 (DSM-IV) includes “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified,” and only discusses obesity as needing further research.
The latest revision, DSM-5, goes a step further by including “Binge Eating Disorder,” a type of overeating, but again sidesteps the topic of obesity.
While obesity is not explicitly in the DSM, the APA has certainly not dismissed its interest in eventually including it in future revisions, as soon as they can point to any research that might link obesity with any “mental disorder.” It is a topic of extensive speculation.
Interestingly enough, there is actual medical science being done on the subject of obesity. Enough, in fact, that we can look forward to actual medical or dietary conditions that will obviate any inclination to categorize it as a mental disorder and hence ripe for psychiatric drugging.
The September, 2013 issue of Scientific American contains an article by Gary Taubes of interest about obesity, “Which one will make you fat?” subtitled “Rigorously controlled studies may soon give us a definitive answer about what causes obesity — excessive calories or the wrong carbyhydrates”.
This article’s conclusion is that, “One ultimate goal is to assure the general public that whatever dietary advice it receives — for weight loss, overall health and prevention of obesity — is based on rigorous science, not preconceptions or blind consensus.”
One truly hopes for rigorous science in this regard, since the alternative seems to be the blind consensus of the psychiatric industry co-opting obesity for its own nefarious purposes, much as it did for autism.
It should be further noted that weight gain is a common side effect of anti-depressant drugs, anti-psychotic drugs, and anti-anxiety drugs.
You might be interested in exactly why psychiatric drugs do not help. Check it out here!