Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AMA says obesity a disease

The American Medical Association officially designated obesity as a disease on Tuesday – a disease that requires medical treatment and prevention.

The organization doesn’t have any kind of official say in the matter, but it’s influential nonetheless, and the vote of the AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates is one more step in the evolution of social attitudes towards obesity.

“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris said in a statement.

One third of Americans are obese – and that’s on top of the one-third who are overweight. Obesity is more than just a matter of carrying around too much fat, says Dr. Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“The fat cells themselves we thought of for a long time as just warehouses for energy,” Joyner said in a telephone interview. But they also secrete chemicals, including chemicals that can cause inflammation, raise blood pressure and that down the road help harden the arteries.


By Maggie Fox, Today Health

For the rest of the story, go to Today Health.

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