The American Medical Association has been on our radar recently, and this week has made quite some headlines with a groundbreaking recommendation:
Obesity should be labeled a disease.
Why is this important? Until now, obesity has been considered a precursor to disease and was classified as a “condition”.
“We felt it’s time to take a stance and say we’re going to identify this as a disease,” AMA committee on public health member Douglas Martin, MD, told MedPage Today. “We think that’s going to send a message not only to the public but to the physician community that we really need to make it a priority and put it in our cross hairs.”
Will this new standing change anything in America?
We’re hopeful and doubtful at the same time. Hopeful because we’re seeing the medical community focusing on the source of of the most painful and costly diseases (diabetes for example). Doubtful because the companies that make the most money getting us fat and sick, don’t have to pay for our treatment. This financial disconnect between cause and effect is at the heart of the obesity problem.
Until public health policy begins to outsmart junk food marketers, we won’t see dramatic changes.
What do you think? Should Obesity be Labeled as a Disease?