Last updated on: 6/20/2017 | Author: ProCon.org

Dimitrinka Atanasova, PhD Biography

Title:
Lecturer in Intercultural Communication at Lancaster University
Position:
Con to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"
Reasoning:

“Considering obesity a chronic disease is a change from the current definition of it as a contributor to chronic diseases, such as diabetes – a change that has already happened in the US in 2013 and in Canada in 2015…

Arguments against classifying obesity as a chronic disease include the point that people would have to be treated only because their Body Mass Index is above a certain threshold, even though they may be perfectly healthy. This weakness of basing decisions about one’s health on BMI has, in fact, received much popular attention and was among the main arguments against declaring obesity a chronic disease presented by the American Medical Association’s own Council on Science and Public Health. Evidence has also emerged that individuals can be ‘fat but fit.’ Finally, in more severe cases, once obesity is seen as a chronic disease, individuals may be denied employment or insurance.

Classifying obesity as a chronic disease appears to be based on a flawed BMI tool that is ill-equipped to measure fat tissue versus muscle mass; the argument also seems to rest on the unsupported premise that calling it a disease will automatically reduce, if not remove, the stigma. Against this background, it might be wiser to stick with the status quo.”

“Should We Classify Obesity as a Disease?,” blogs.lse.ac.uk, Sep. 8, 2016

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with MDs or PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to obesity and health. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to obesity and health.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Lecturer in Intercultural Communication, Lancaster University, Mar. 2017-present
  • Secretary, Health and Science Communication Special Interest Group, British Association for Applied Linguistics
  • Member, Navigating Knowledge Landscapes Network
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, Queen Mary University of London, Feb. 2016-present
  • Associate Tutor, University of Leicester, Oct. 2015-Dec. 2016
  • Research Associate, University of Sheffield, Oct. 2015-Dec. 2015
  • Research Associate, University of Leicester, July 2014-Sep. 2015
  • Media Consultant, Commetric (Sofia, Bulgaria), Aug. 2009-June 2010
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Center for Media and Communication Studies, Central European University, May 2009-July 2009
Education:
  • PhD, Media and Communications, University of Leicester, 2014
  • MA, Public Policy, Central European University, 2009
  • BA, Political Science and International Relations, American University in Bulgaria, 2005
Contact Info:
Phone
44-1524-510737
Email
d.atanasova@lancaster.ac.uk
Website
Lancaster University profile
Other:
  • Twitter: @dbatanasova
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is Obesity a Disease?