AMA declares obesity now a disease

June 21, 2013

Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – Obesity is now a disease after the American Medical Association (AMA) declared it as such in a resolution issued on Tuesday.

The resolution by the AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates means that the condition requires medical treatment and prevention. However, it has no effect of a law and does not guarantee insurance coverage for obesity drugs.

“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” Forbes quoted AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris as saying following the delegates’ vote Tuesday. “The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”

An estimated one-third of Americans are obese, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She warned that fats secrete chemicals that can cause inflammation, raise blood pressure and hardened arteries.

Several national associations of doctors, including cardiologists and surgeons, endorsed the obesity-as-disease resolution.


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