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Friday, June 21, 2013

From AMA: Obesity Reclassified

As published in today's LivingAfterWLS Weekly Digest
Link to the Digest in our Archive: Weekly Digest 06212013

AMA: Obesity a disease, not a choice:
Reclassification will change treatment options

WASHINGTON (AP)  The American Medical Association (AMA) now considers obesity a disease that requires medical intervention, treatments and preventative measures.

The resolution to consider obesity a disease was passed on Tuesday at the association's annual meeting.

"The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes," reads one of the final paragraphs of the resolution (courtesy NPR's posting of the full document).

The AMA hopes the reclassification will change how doctors treat patients; that they will treat obesity as a disease rather than a lifestyle choice or condition.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," said AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D. "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."

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