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  • Obesity is officially a disease!! Now, where's my cupcake?

  • Hey guys Tara here for Dnews - and if you're the type of person who's constantly worried

  • about your weight, then do we have the story for you!

  • It's been almost a year now since the American Medical Association officially classified

  • obesity as a disease. One of the hopes behind this was to raise awareness to the growing

  • problem of obesity, but new research suggests that the classification may be doing more

  • harm than good. A study published in the April issue of Psychological

  • Science, recruited over 700 participants to take an online survey related to health and

  • weight. They calculated the BMI of every participant - some obese, and some of average weight - and

  • then asked them to read one of three articles. The first article was a standard public-health

  • message about weight, another was a NYT article describing obesity as a disease, and the third

  • was an article specifically stating that obesity is NOT a disease.

  • The findings show that obese participants who read the article classifying obesity as

  • a disease, placed less importance on health-focused dieting and reported less concern over their

  • weight, compared to obese individuals who read the other two articles. They also chose

  • higher-calorie food options when asked to pick a sandwich from a provided menu. Meaning

  • the "obesity as a disease" mentality actually led to unhealthier food choices.

  • Crystal Hoyt, the researcher who spearheaded the study, says "the term disease suggests

  • that bodies, physiology, and genes are malfunctioning. By invoking physiological explanations for

  • obesity, the disease label encourages the perception that weight is unchangeable."

  • However, they're not disputing the fact that obesity should be classified as a disease.

  • Rather, the aim was to understand how public-health messages can have unintended consequences.

  • The most interesting aspect of the study, I think, is that the people who accepted the

  • disease classification but made unhealthy choices anyway - reported greater body satisfaction

  • than any of the other groups. So they may be unhealthy - but at least they're happy!

  • What do you guys think? Should obesity be classified as a disease? And does knowing

  • that it is, affect your food choices? Let us know in the comments below and for more

  • episodes of Dnews, subscribe here.

Obesity is officially a disease!! Now, where's my cupcake?

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