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Diagnosis: obesity

Owen Canfield Published: June 21, 2013

In America, obesity isn’t just a problem anymore. It’s a disease. So says the American Medical Association, which this week officially recognized obesity as such.

An AMA committee recommended against taking that step, but delegates to the organization’s annual meeting decided otherwise. One AMA board member said labeling obesity as a disease will help to change the way the medical community tries to combat the issue. An advocate for obese people told The New York Times that doctors may now take obesity more seriously, which suggests that they don’t already.

It’s well established that Americans have a weight problem — as many as one-third of us are obese — and that being overweight contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes and other problems.

Count us among those who believe this new label will result in more people turning to medical solutions such as drugs and weight-loss surgery (with a push for those remedies to be covered by insurance), instead of trying to exercise more and improve their diets.