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Larry Cohen's view on the perception of obesity in medicare and development directions

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Summary (of Source Material)

Larry Cohen addresses the fact that obesity is officially rendered as a disease by the American Medical Association. The term disease usually refers to a sickness that is abnormal, has no resolution- can only be treated- and is a permanent condition of the respective host or individual. However, Larry states that obesity and overweight-affiliated health problems are certainly preventable and America has to focus on preventative measures to combat rising obesity rates. He continues by arguing that the issue has two direct approaches- expanding Medicare options for more coverage and access to treatments for obese individuals, or realizing the environmental factors that lead to patients arriving to clinical offices in the first place. The latter option is crucial in not only driving down medical expenses but might be the most effective way to reduce obesity rates in America. Furthermore, he proclaims that although diet and exercise regiment is key to changing one’s weight class, such factors are hindered by an individual’s environment. Thus, Larry concludes on the idea of raising awareness of factors- other than diet and exercise- that impact obesity and reforming America’s policies towards the growing epidemic.

Major Claim: (In 1-2 sentences, what is this particular source arguing?)

America’s common approach to providing assistance individuals diagnosed with obesity is prescribing medicine or making clients pay a visit to the doctor for momentary treatment. In order to effectively combat the epidemic, the country needs to open its eyes and tackle the core factors that lead to rising obesity rates.

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Response and Use (How do you insightfully respond to the information you read in this source? How might you use this source in your research?):

I plan on utilizing various claims from the source to support conclusions I will make in my research paper. The author incorporates logical rationale to suggest the poor environmental factors that stem and influence individuals from making intuitive decisions. Larry poses an interesting point, regarding the role of government in the issue of obesity itself. The federal government seems to be concerned with the political battles of implementing various expansions of Medicare- which doesn’t even help lower the probability of individuals becoming overweight in the future. Additionally, I share his perspective that the government needs to focus on environmental issues when debating over the implementation of policies for the sake of the nation.

Important Quotations:

-“Diet, physical activity and health are not just matters of individual character but are influenced by a host of factors.” (Cohen, Larry)

-“After the AMA’s announcement, some members of Congress introduced a bill to expand Medicare reimbursements for weight-loss drugs and weight-reduction treatment. Yet while doctors, drugs and surgical procedures have a role to play in caring for these patients, prevention is the most important tool we have in the quest to improve health and prevent illness.” (Cohen, Larry)

-“We know from years of experience that the best prevention happens on the ground, in our communities, with support from policymakers. It’s how we got lead out of paint, cigarettes out of the workplace and child seats into cars.” (Cohen, Larry)

Remaining Questions (What are you left wondering? What would you now like to know?):

-How does the public feel about the role of government in the fight against the obesity epidemic?


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