AMA declares obesity a disease needing treatment

June 19, 2013 at 2:02 AM
| License Photo

CHICAGO, June 19 (UPI) -- The American Medical Association declared obesity a disease, which means 90 million U.S. adults and children have a medical condition requiring treatment.

After a debate Tuesday, members of the AMA's House of Delegates rejected advice of their own experts and extended the new status for obesity to a condition that affects more than a third of U.S. adults and 17 percent of U.S. children, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately 1-in-3 Americans," Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member, told the Times.

The vote might pressure health insurance companies to reimburse physicians for the time-consuming task of discussing obesity's health risks with patients whose body mass index exceeds 30 and encourage doctors to direct their patients to weight-loss programs.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution