Last updated on: 5/6/2014 | Author:

Richard B. Gunderman, MD, PhD Biography

Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Evaluation, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University
Con to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"

“When we meet obese people, should we cast them a knowing glance of concern and ask how they are doing? Should we send flowers and ‘get well soon’ cards to obese family members and friends?…

If obesity truly is a disease, then over 78 million adults and 12 million children in America just got classified as sick… Everyone has friends and acquaintances who now qualify as diseased.

Yet many sensible people, from physicians to philosophers, know that declaring obesity a disease is a mistake. Simply put, obesity is not a disease. To be sure, it is a risk factor for some diseases. But it would be as false to say that everyone who is obese is sick as to say that every normal-weight person is well.”

“Is Obesity Really a Disease?,”, June 24, 2013

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Evaluation, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University
  • Vice Chair of Radiology, Indiana University
  • Fellow, Tobias Center for Leadership and Excellence
  • Member, Board of Governors, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Board Member, Kinsey Institute
  • Board Member, Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society
  • Faculty President Elect, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Correspondent, The Atlantic, 2012-present
  • Recipient, Radiological Society of North America Outstanding Educator, 2011
  • Recipient, Outstanding Professor in Clinical Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Recipient, Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Recipient, Herman Lieber All-University Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2008
  • Recipient, Outstanding Educator, Radiology Society of North America, 2008
  • Recipient, Indiana University School of Medicine Faculty Teaching Award, 2007
  • Recipient, Editor’s Award for Best Paper, Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha, 2006
  • MPH, Indiana University, 2001
  • MD, with honors, University of Chicago, 1992
  • PhD, Committee of Social Thought, University of Chicago, 1989
  • AB, summa cum laude, Biology and Philosophy, Wabash College, 1983
  • Recipient, Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching, 2004
  • Recipient, Wayne Booth Award
  • Recipient, Robert Shellhamer Award for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2004
  • Recipient, School of Medicine Faculty Teaching Award
  • Recipient, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Former Fellow, Pediatric Radiology, Indiana University
  • Former Resident, Radiology, University of Chicago
  • Former Federal Chancellor Scholar, Germany
  • Former Intern, University of Chicago Coggeshall Fellow, Center Clinical Medicine Ethics
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is Obesity a Disease?