Founding Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity
Con to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"
"I often compare obesity to drowning. Would we consider it a disease if a person were drowning? When someone is drowning, it's not a problem with their body: Humans cannot be in the water for an arbitrary amount of time, so the problem is a mismatch between the body and the body's environment.
I think drowning and obesity share many important characteristics. Both are about an interaction between a perfectly healthy body and the challenge of an environment in which they are maladapted. In both cases, you're exposed to something that's initially a good thing, but you're exposed to too much of it for too long. In the case of water, you need it, but too much of it for too long and you drown. In the case of food, if you eat too much of it for too long, then you get fat.
In both cases, absolutely everybody is vulnerable, but people are vulnerable to varying degrees. If we're put underwater, eventually all of us will drown, but some of us are able to hold our breath longer than others. I think that's true about obesity: About 80 percent of the adult population of the United States is either overweight or obese. That indicates that essentially, we're all vulnerable, but we're not all vulnerable to the same degree.”
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:
Fellow, American College of Physicians (FACP)
Fellow, American College of Preventative Medicine (FACPM)
Medical Contributor, US News & World Report, 2012-present
Member, Council of Advisors, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, 2012-present
Member, Medical Advisory Board, EmpowerHer.com, 2012-present