American Medical Association determines obesity is a disease

In the annual NPCH Report of the top health problems facing kids in the U.S., childhood obesity has been rated among the top problems for the past several years. This week, the American Medical Association (AMA) formally recognized that obesity is more than a problem – it’s a disease.

The health risks of obesity have been well known for some time – including diabetes and heart disease. By recognizing obesity as a disease, the AMA hopes to encourage more interventions to combat obesity and increase funding for obesity treatment and research.

However, some opponents of the AMA’s decision say that labeling obesity as a disease means that a large portion of the U.S. adult population has a disease – something that could lead to more costly medical interventions.

The public has not only expressed concern about obesity, but has also rated childhood obesity as the top child health priority that should be addressed from the nation’s highest office. In a 2012 NPCH Report before the presidential election, adults across the country said childhood obesity was their number one child health priority for the presidential candidates to address. Read the full report: Public wants presidential candidates to address childhood obesity, bullying.

What do you think about the American Medical Association’s decision to call obesity a disease?