Should people with risky lifestyles be held accountable when their health turns poor–and costly?

Cardiometabolic Factors
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Within the last couple of decades, more and more research have shown a number of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, to be associated with particular lifestyle characteristics such as smoking, lack of exercise, and over-eating. Confronted with such research, it is timely to raise questions about individual responsibility for getting those diseases…and to think closer about issues such as blame, stigma, and economic burdens.

Are individuals with particular lifestyles responsible for increased risks of corresponding lifestyle diseases? Well, most of us associate the question of personal responsibility with causality…[However, a] great deal of research seems to show that obese parents, circumstances associated with lower socioeconomic classes, famine suffering during childhood, and certain genetic dispositions are factors that predict obesity to such a degree that we also have strong reason to believe they are causes of obesity.

[A]ny new evidence of causal influences on our lifestyle and disease-relevant behavior will have absolutely no rational impact on discussions of whether we are responsible for our lifestyle diseases.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original postAre we responsible for our lifestyle diseases?

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