Obesity Officially Classified As A Disease

View Comments
(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

CBS Atlanta (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSAtlanta.net/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSAtlanta.net/Health

CHICAGO (CBS) – The nation’s largest organization of doctors now considers obesity a disease.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, at a meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association House of Delegates has voted to declare obesity a medical illness.

Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center, said it’s high time obesity be recognized as a disease, calling the evidence incontrovertible.

“The evidence is clear that obesity is a disease,” he said.

The AMA’s move means 78 million American adults and 12 million children who are considered obese now are classified as having a medical condition that requires treatment. It also puts more pressure on insurance companies to cover the costs of weight loss and weight control treatment.

Dr. Kelly Brownell, a psychologist at Yale University, saw the move as a major step forward in tackling the problem.

“What’s needed is the country to take it more seriously from a policy point of view, and to try to correct the conditions that are making the problem occur,” he said.

Brownell said obesity is a treatable disease.

“We have a gradation of treatments. We start with diet and exercise. We move up to medical therapies, if that’s not successful, and ultimately surgery,” he said.

Therapies and procedures such as lap-band or gastric bypass surgeries might now be included in insurance coverage, based on the AMA’s decision.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,619 other followers