AMA Officially Declares “Obesity is a Disease”

I have a confession – I must have written this post several times over, and each time it ended off with a rambling rant on the state of our society today. It’s not my intent to offend or point fingers, I’d much rather focus on the positives, (we humans can do pretty amazing things when we put our minds to it). Instead, I opted to just present the facts with a few rhetorical questions and (try to) leave (most of) my personal opinions out of it.

The week of 6/17 – The American Medical Association (AMA) officially declared Obesity a disease. And just to be clear, approximately 1/3 of Americans are overweight (BMI between 25-29), and 1/3 are obese (BMI >30). So here are my rhetorical questions:

Will this designation have an affect on the general population, kind of like a wake up America! What are we doing to ourselves (and our kids)?

Will people be more inclined to try harder to make personal lifestyle changes or fall into a false sense of security with the idea that fat loss drugs or surgery will be their answer?

What will be the treatment for this disease? How will primary care physicians address this issue with each patient (it can’t be a cookie cutter solution)? Will there be further training or will they refer out to experienced fitness and nutrition professionals?

What will this do to our healthcare costs and resources?

How will this affect employers and employees?

Will this have far reaching affects to the large food conglomerates that produce the majority of our foods – fast, prepackaged and processed foods? Will they be willing to make changes for the health of a population if it means losing some money?

Will we return to our kitchens, pick up spatula and pan and take control over our food consumption and prep?

Now, is a very minute portion of my rant: Almost a decade ago I made a total career change from front end, reactive healthcare, working in a hospital environment, to join the proactive healthcare movement in the form of fitness and lifestyle management. I truly believed that with a combination of education, motivation and support I could have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of people (at least those in my sphere). After ruminating on this “obesity is a disease” issue, I still worry about things like this being a copout for people not to alter their ways. I’m concerned about a Dr’s predilection in addressing this new disease. Of course, I wonder about the impact on healthcare and I really wonder if this new designation is going to make any difference at all to the throwaway/quick fix mindset of a large portion of our society.

Regardless, I will remain optimistic that positive changes will be made and accountability will drive this transformation in our society. And maybe, just maybe, this squeaky wheel can help promote healthy living attitudes to anyone who’ll listen.


Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


Sign up for our email newsletter