Obesity has been an increasing problem in the states. About 70% of American adults are overweight, 35%, obese. So, over a third are obese.

Obesity has become a larger problem in recent years…

But it’s not officially a mental illness.

Let’s stick with the facts. Here’s the latest, most official and agreed-upon definition of mental illness. Important words are bolded.

“A mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.

Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress in social, occupational, or other important activities. An expectable or culturally approved response to a common stressor or loss, such as the death of a loved one, is not a mental disorder.

Socially deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) and conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are not mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict results from a dysfunction in the individual, as described above.”

  1. Obesity clearly has all the marks of an addiction-based mental illness….

Call it a “disturbance in…emotion regulation, or behavior”.

2. Treatment of obesity overlaps with treatment of mental illnesses…

It’s reasonable to infer that obese people mostly exist in wealthy countries, Sounds like“dysfunction in the psychological…processes underlying mental functioning”

The system itself will not recognize obesity as a mental illness despite these glaring similarities

3. Obesity is a health problem that fells people by any number of horrible ailments

“…dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.”

The risks of obesity are many, and are significant…

  • Higher mortality
  • Risk of high blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • A variety of cancers
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Hypertension
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis

People know that they’re obese. But they just can’t stop eating. It’s a health problem once they lose control and open themselves up to be felled by any number of horrible ailments. Sugary drinks alone kill 184,000 people per year due to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Such a state of constant physical danger clearly reflects a “…dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.”

4. Social and occupational distress is routinely experienced by obese people.

  • They are quite radically, passively looked down upon and discriminated against, no matter their actual character.
  • They face horrible stigma and discrimination.
  • They are heavily discriminated against. Everyone knows that.
  • It’s the easiest disorder to spot.

Sources: Ben Komor, DSM-V, Dr. Mccauley, https://www.thinwomanbrain.com/the-food-addicts-brain.php