Obesity Now Officially a Disease
AMA hopes designation will help people get treatment
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013 1:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 19, 2013 7:00 AM CDT
"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue," the AMA says.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

(Newser) – More than a third of adults and nearly a fifth of children in the US are now officially considered to have a disease: obesity. The American Medical Association has now declared obesity to be a disease, a move it hopes will influence policy changes on the same scale that sharply cut deaths from smoking and from traffic accidents, NBC News reports. Obesity rates have "doubled among adults in the last 20 years and tripled among children in a single generation," notes the AMA, which has previously referred to obesity as an "urgent chronic condition" and a "complex disorder."

"More widespread recognition of obesity as a disease could result in greater investments by government and the private sector to develop and reimburse obesity treatments,” the AMA said in a statement. "Employers may be required to cover obesity treatments for their employees and may be less able to discriminate on the basis of body weight." The decision makes it a doctor's professional obligation to diagnose and treat obesity, reports the Los Angeles Times, which notes that studies have found more than half of obese patients have never had a medical professional tell them they should lose weight.

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Jun 20, 2013 2:32 PM CDT
HO -- LEEEEEE SHITTTT Political Correctness has invaded medicine. Watch ObamaCare give disability to all the fat assed folks........
Jun 20, 2013 12:20 PM CDT
So eating food riddled with sugars and high fructose corn syrup is a disease now? Sounds like a bad habit to me.
Jun 20, 2013 1:16 AM CDT
It is not a disease, it is the natural function of the human body. Stop subsidizing unnatural bad foods, start subsidizing natural crops Start subsidizing good soil habits DO NOT declare this a disease that only feeds into our nasty for profit medical system START national campaigns to boost awareness about healthy habits