Obesity a Disease, American Medical Association Says

June 19, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Obesity disease: The American Medical Association adopted a new policy on June 18, calling obesity a disease the requires medical intervention.

“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” said AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D., in a statement.“The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”

The association made the policy change during its annual meeting, held in Chicago.

Other policy changes made during the meeting include banning marketing and selling of energy drinks to children, and encouraging employers and employees to consider alternatives to sitting, such as standing work stations and isometric balls.

A range of elected officials and institutions, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have labeled obesity a crisis, disease, and/or epidemic in recent years.

Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese in the United States, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.


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