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Entries in AMA (1)

Wednesday
Jul032013

Members weigh in on obesity as a disease

On the surface, the recent announcement that the American Medical Association has decided to designate obesity as a disease is great news.

How can it not be? Now doctors will be able to prescribe various solutions for the overweight, the current epidemic is now being brought to the forefront as a serious issue that needs to be dealt with, and, for the fitness industry, it may bring in more visitors through the doors.

While all of that is true, it is not all perfect. 

First, doctors still need to take the time to talk to patients who are in need of a solution – usually exercise and a proper diet. But, as many physicians get paid on the number of patients they see, squeezing in even a 20-minute discussion on the benefits of hitting the gym may be too much for a primary care physician. And, what if now, with obesity considered a disease the option of surgery, like gastric bypass, or a yet-to-be discovered drug is the easier way?

Then, there are insurance companies. If they don’t cover gym memberships or other options that cost money then there is a viable chance the obese will not take their doctor’s suggestion.

But this doesn’t mean the new disease label can’t be an impetus for battling the ghastly obesity numbers – currently 1 in 5 for children and 1 in 3 for adults.

Read on for the complete story.

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