Obesity Semantics

Obesity text on puzzle pieces

Obesity was recognized by the CMA (Canadian Medical Association) as a disease in October 2015. As you can imagine, this is a difficult and vulnerable topic to explore.


The influences on weight are multiple and complex. What we do know is that excess weight over time can affect the body like other chronic diseases (think diabetes, hypertension and arthritis): at times it is loud and challenging and at other times it is more stable.  Effective tools like eating well and being active that may help in managing weight at one point in time may not be as effective a few years later. One single intervention will never totally manage weight - it’s a combination of several that support long term health.


Respected obesity researcher and physician, Dr. Arya Sharma, has been exploring the arguments for and against obesity as a disease on his blog this spring and summer. The short posts are concise and reflect what we know about obesity.  Regardless of classification, weight struggles are deeply personal. They flow into all aspects of life. Long term weight management requires lifelong application of strategies that target lifestyle, behaviours, thought patterns and biology.


Consider your view about your own weight. Do you view it as a complex health condition or a battle of will? Perhaps a shift in perspective will help you become more kind in your approaches. And appreciate that weight management is not simply ‘eat less, move more.’ Your weight and health are not items of success or failure, but rather components of your unique life.