Friday, June 21, 2013

"Diseases" and "Disorders"

With the recent announcement that obesity is a disease, it's really got me considering the validity of a number of "diagnosis" that have been brought about by recent medicine and Science.

I have to admit that personally I've become a bit suspicious with certain aspects of modern medicine when I see absurdities like this arise.  It's interesting that the same people who declare these new syndromes and sicknesses are the same ones who stand to gain the most financially by treating them.  I heard just this week on the radio that almost 70% of Americans are on some type of prescribed medication.

If obesity is a "disease" one can make a lot more money by medicating it than by simply telling people to make healthier decisions and be more active.  I have the same suspicions about things like ADHD.  For thousands of years children were extremely active, having to hunt, gather, build, and survive with their families.  I would wager that the ones who had the best chances of survival were probably those who were energetic and highly sensitive to their environment.  The ones who were "easily distracted" from a mundane task to notice that snake, or lion, or whatever threat that was lurking.

But, over time, society and technology has changed our world.  Rather than run around and burn off energy, kids are asked to sit in classrooms for longer and longer periods of time with fewer and fewer recesses throughout the day.  As a result, the same characteristics that were an advantage in the past, have now become a disadvantage in our modern society.  And to make matters worse, we now tell these kids that they have a "disorder."  They have a "problem."  They are not normal.  Is that really true?  We can't ignore the fact that this world has changed and changed rapidly.  The world has changed more in the past 100 years for man than in the last 5,000 before that.  Things that were advantages then are "disorders" today.  Social settings that allowed kids to be highly active and prevent things like obesity are now in the distant past, replaced by long school days followed by sedimentary hours of television and video games.  All the while billions are made medicating us for not fitting in to our new environment.

Perhaps I'm not qualified to make these types of observations as I'm not a doctor, but when doctors come out and tell us obesity is a disease, it makes me wonder if they are qualified to make these observations either..........