Last updated on: 1/25/2010 | Author:

Baqiyyah Conway, PhD Biography

Research Fellow in Epidemiology at Vanderbilt University
Pro to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"

“Contrary to just being a medical condition or risk factor for other diseases, obesity is a complex disease of multifaceted aetiology, with its own disabling capacities, pathophysiologies and comorbidities. It meets the medical definition of disease in that it is a physiological dysfunction of the human organism with environmental, genetic and endocrinological aetiologies. It is a response to environmental stimuli, genetic predisposition and abnormalities, and has a characteristic set of signs and symptoms with consistent anatomical alterations. Excess adipose tissue increases the work of the heart and leads to anatomical changes in this organ. It alters pulmonary, endocrine and immunological functions, all with adverse effects on health. Some of the complications of obesity include cardiovascular disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis and cancer. Given the excess mortality, substantial morbidity and the economic toll of obesity, this is a disease that warrants serious attention by the medical community.”

“Obesity as a Disease: No Lightweight Matter,” Obesity Reviews, May 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Research Fellow in Molecular Epidemiology at Vanderbilt University
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
  • MPH, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 2004
  • MA, University of Birmingham, 2000
  • BS, Andrews University, 1999
  • BS, Weimar College, 1992
  • None found