WARREN (WWJ) – Is obesity a disease? The American Medical Association says it is.
One of the country’s most respected medical groups, the AMA voted on the measure on Tuesday, citing America’s adult and child escalating obesity rates.
The World Health Organization, FDA, and IRS already recognize obesity as a disease.
Gary Katz, Medical Director of Saint John Macomb-Oakland’s Weight Loss Program, says the AMA’s decision was long overdue.
“Obesity is, in my opinion, the cause of other diseases,” Katz said. “A lot of which cause early death to a lot of patients such as sleep apnea and diabetes.”
Katz said that recognizing obesity as a disease can also help treat the root cause for other conditions as well.
While doctors and insurance companies are being asked by the AMA to acknowledge obesity as a complex disorder, Katz said that might not guarantee insurance coverage or shortened wait times for treatments and surgeries that are obesity related — but he hopes it will.
Obesity rates have doubled among adults in the last 20 years and have tripled with children in just one generation.
The AMA says it wants to see national efforts to help inform and educate the public about the health risks of being overweight and obese. [Get more info from the AMA, HERE].