Last updated on: 1/27/2010 | Author:

Paul F. Campos, JD Biography

Professor of Law at the University of Colorado at Boulder
Con to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"

“From the perspective of a profit-maximizing medical and pharmaceutical industry… the ideal disease would be one that never killed those who suffered from it, that could not be treated effectively, and that doctors and their patients would nevertheless insist on treating anyway. Luckily for it, the American health-care industry has discovered (or rather invented) just such a disease. It is called ‘obesity.’

The reasons why the disease of obesity doesn’t kill those who suffer from it and why it remains impossible to cure are one and the same: Because it doesn’t exist.

…Most groups of people categorized as ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ do not suffer from poorer health or higher mortality than ‘ideal weight’ individuals. In many of the largest-scale studies, groups of people currently categorized as overweight have better mortality statistics than anyone else…

The absurd notion that something as complex as an individual human being’s health can be adequately gauged, or even generalized about, by determining where he or she fits on something as crude as a body mass index scale is a remnant of a level of medical knowledge (or rather ignorance) that had very little to do with science…

In fact, as we have seen, there is no valid medical reason why two women of the same height cannot weigh 100 and 200 pounds respectively, while both maintain optimum cardiovascular and metabolic fitness, and excellent overall health.”

The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, University of Colorado School of Law, 1997-present
  • Director, Byron R. White Center for American Constitutional Study, 1995-1999
  • Associate Professor, University of Colorado School of Law, 1990-1997
  • Visiting Professor, Southern Methodist University Law School, Fall 1997
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School, Fall 1992
  • Attorney, Latham & Watkins, Chicago, Illinois, 1989-1990
  • Associate Editor, Michigan Law Review, 1987-1988
  • Editor, The Sports Periodicals Index, 1985-1986
  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, 1989
  • MA, University of Michigan, 1983
  • AB, University of Michigan, 1982
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is Obesity a Disease?