"Rethinking Weight" by Amanda Spake, A Critique Paper Obesity is Not a Personal Problem

Essay by stolencHigh School, 12th gradeA, October 2009

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As the obesity wave crashes over the United States, more Americans are paying out of pocket to flourish the $33 billion commercial diet industry (Spake 283). As American's waistbands continue to expand, they immerse themselves in one of the largest, most scandalous consumer markets: the weight loss industry. Amanda Spake, author of "Rethinking Weight", addresses the question as to who should cover the overall cost of weight loss programs. Spake challenges that insurance companies should pay for the expenses that obese people encounter. This, she states, is due to the fact that obesity is a biological "disease" and it should be treated and paid for like any other critical illness (283). In this article, Spake does not present the importance of physical activity, only discussing unsuccessful dieting experiences and bad genetic makeup. Although Spake briefly suggests that exercising is an advantage to those who are obese, she puts the solitary blame for obesity on the genetic aspect.

From 1986 to 2000, the number of people who are severely obese-which is identified by having a body mass index of 40 or more-has quadrupled, from about 1 in 200 adults to 1 in every 50. This startling statistic has caused more people to be aware of this rising occurrence that has swept over the United States. Obesity has medical professionals worrying; not only are the numbers of overweight people continuing to rise but weight-related medical costs are soaring. Healthcare costs for illnesses due to obesity have now exceeded those related to both smoking and alcoholism. The obesity epidemic is a big contributor to skyrocketing health care costs in the United States, partly due to the weight-related diseases that come hand-in-hand with obesity. Ailments such as type II diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol are closely connected to obesity...