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.
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