The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, a move that could induce physicians to pay more attention to the condition and spur more insurers to pay for treatments.
In making the decision, delegates at the association's annual meeting in Chicago overrode a recommendation against doing so by a committee that had studied the matter. "Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the association's board, said in a statement. She suggested the new definition would help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are linked to obesity. ...
... The delegates rejected the conclusion of the council and voted instead in favor of a resolution pushed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American College of Cardiology and some other organizations.
This resolution argued that obesity was a "multimetabolic and hormonal disease state" that leads to unfavorable outcomes like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
"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," the resolution said. ...