Last month, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially recognized obesity as a disease. Many doctors have already known that obesity is a disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has long recognized obesity as an epidemic and a chronic ailment, and has been tracking its spread for years.
Hopefully, this official designation by the AMA will help improve dialog between patients and doctors about the condition. Some doctors feel to embarrassed to broach the topic with obese patients. Ironically, studies show that many obese patients would prefer their doctor speak with them about treatment options.
This designation as a disease may also help lift the stigma of obesity and allow people to seek necessary treatments without feeling ashamed. Any effective treatment would thereby improve type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are directly related to obesity. Treatment not only improves associated illnesses, but also improves one’s quality of life.
Carl Lowe, Jr., MD