Praise the American Medical Association for Declaring Obesity a Disease


Target: American Medical Association (AMA)

Goal: Praise the American Medical Association for categorizing obesity as a disease

Obesity currently affects millions of people within the global community and causes preventable health complications that often result in premature deaths. Despite being a huge contributing factor to diseases, obesity was always considered a behavioral condition and not a disease. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced that it would now consider obesity a disease. This new label changes how obesity will be addressed by doctors and insurance companies. This move will also prompt more action for the fight against obesity. Commend the AMA for its decision to categorize obesity as a disease.

Recent campaigns that were designed to curb obesity focused on getting people to become more proactive about their weight. These campaigns inform people of the risks of obesity and leave the decision to losing weight up to the individual. Although these campaigns help, they might not be enough for people to actively go and change their diets and exercise level.  Now, America’s leading doctors that were a part of this decision making process hope that this new label will require primary care physicians to discuss obesity with their at-risk patients and monitor their condition. Doctors can be very effective in combating obesity if they are more adamant about weight loss with their patients and provide good and viable options.

This new declaration of obesity as a disease means that 78 million adults and 12 million children who are obese within the U.S. now have a medical condition that should be treated. Private health insurance companies might now have to consider reimbursing physicians for the extended time spent discussing obesity risks and weight loss tactics. On top of that, these insurance companies might have to add coverage for certain weight loss programs and medications. This coverage could influence more people to want to lose weight.  The AMA’s House of Delegates believes that this classification could get people the help they need to fight obesity and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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

Even if this definition does not change people’s viewpoints on obesity, the fact that the AMA has defined it as a disease is a step forward in fighting this epidemic and the association must be praised for it.


Dear American Medical Association,

The obesity epidemic causes many premature deaths per year. Even though there have been several studies that provide evidence as to how obesity harms the body, the fight against obesity is still extremely difficult. Getting people to change their lifestyle, ranging from their diets to their level of physical activity, can be hard. The new classification of obesity as a disease will hopefully change people’s minds and encourage more weight loss.

The new definition will now ask doctors and primary care physicians to address obesity as a medical condition that should be treated. Physicians should provide more information on the risk factors of obesity. They should also present patients with treatment options. If physicians start to adopt this new viewpoint on obesity, the fight against obesity could really be advanced.

Thank you for addressing obesity and defining it as a disease.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Darliene Howell says:

    The AMA has decided to utilize declare obesity a disease. What is in question is why did they do so? Why, after receiving a recommendation to NOT declare obesity a disease by their own Council on Science and Public Health, did they declare it so?

    “Without a single, clear, authoritative, and widely accepted definition of disease, it is difficult to determine conclusively whether or not obesity is a medical disease state,” the council told the AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates. “Similarly, a sensitive and clinically practical diagnostic indicator of obesity remains elusive.”

    Perhaps it has to do with money?

    Insurance companies would be required to pay for “treatment” of obesity as a disease under Obamacare where, at present, not all “treatments” (such as weight loss surgeries) are covered by all insurance plans. Once obesity is universally recognized as a disease, you will see an influx of recommendations for surgeries as a way to “cure” the disease to “reduce overall healthcare costs” and put more money in the pockets of doctors but it will also increase insurance costs to businesses and consumers. Never mind that these surgeries do not reduce overall healthcare costs , the potential unintended consequences of these types of surgeries on the individuals or that some obese people do not have a need to lose weight to be metabolically healthy .

    Declaring it a disease will fund more studies, which puts more money in the pockets of doctors and scientists. Declaring it a disease will increase the sale of weight loss drugs and weight loss plans. So the pharmaceutical companies and weight loss industries make more money while taxpayers pay more money to cover the costs of the FDA and public health agencies.

    Don’t you just love capitalism? It’s the American Way! Cha-ching!

    Fat activist, Marilyn Wann, has put together a petition to the AMA stating:
    Using weight to define health is inaccurate, unscientific prejudice. It directly fuels discrimination in the workplace, from insurers, in medical care, and in social interactions. The war on so-called “obesity” [sic] is a war on fat people. Doctors already exhibit dangerous levels of weight bias. Fat people deserve care, not condemnation. Correlation≠causation. Behavior≠BMI. Weight≠health. Hate is not good for public health.

    If you’d like to sign the petition on, simply go to:

  2. J Davidson says:

    Stop corporations who aggressively promote and lobby for their unhealthy and dangerous diet and household products. They have a stranglehold on the market.

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