Obesity As a Disease
Recently the American Medical Association announced that it was changing the designation of obesity from a 'disorder' to a 'disease.' While the two labels sound similar, they actually mean very different things to health care providers, insurance companies, and to members of the obese community.At first glance, it’s a minor story, hardly worth mentioning, but in reality the AMA’s move is a symptom of a disease that is seriously troubling our society.
Obesity in children has tripled in the past two decades. Experts have warned that kids today may be the first generation in history to live shorter lives than their parents. Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex health issue.
Obesity is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes which impact millions of people. Even if an obese person does not currently display any other health problems, we know that obesity significantly increases the risk for other serious health complications down the road, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems and some forms of cancer. Addressing obesity before these complications arise will prevent future patient suffering.
I know whether obesity is a disease or an epidemic the general population will remain unaffected. But this rapidly rising obesity rates have led to a decrease in health and wellness and an increase in costs for treating obesity-related illnesses. We have to take steps to improve the health of our nation.
“There is no magic bullet — no medicine — for obesity. The way out of obesity is to eat right and healthy and to move your body.”