Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Researchers find that declaring obesity a disease made the problem worse

See also

The decision by the American Medical Association to declare obesity to be a disease has had exactly the reverse impact than what was intended according to new research conducted by Crystal Hoyt and Jeni Burnette of the University of Richmond and Lisa Auster-Gussman of the University of Minnesota that was published in the journal Jan. 28, 2014, edition of the journal Psychological Science.

The researchers began their investigation to determine if declaring obesity to be a disease would cause obese people to have less interest in dieting and a lower concern for their weight because the individuals considered themselves to be sick and could do nothing about their illness.

The researchers examined the responses of 700 obese people to written articles that either indicated obesity was a disease or claimed obesity was not a disease.

The overwhelming psychological response to the declaration that obesity is a disease was a lower interest in dieting, a lower interest in eating healthy foods, and a higher acceptance of being obese. The researchers predict that this decision will encourage obese people to consume more high-calorie foods.

The United States has spent billions of dollars fighting the obesity epidemic and has made minimal headway in that fight.

Declaring obesity to be a disease has only served to harm the obese individual’s ability to take control of their own lives.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • LADEE mission ends with impact on lunar surface
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518201429" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Kepler-186 Sol Comparison
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518200618" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!