Obesity

American Medical Association: Call Obesity a Disease

Does that make a cheeseburger a "controlled substance"?

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"Buffets" will be reclassified as "Transmission Vectors"
Credit: morrissey / Foter.com / CC BY

Yesterday I noted a recommendation by a council within the American Medical Association against calling obesity a disease, arguing that doing so undermines prevention efforts and doesn't really impact treatment.

The American Medical Association voted and never mind: They're calling it a disease. Via MedPage Today:

The vote—approved by roughly 60% of the AMA's full House—goes against the recommendation of its Council on Science and Public Health, which issued a report earlier this week saying that calling obesity a disease would be problematic.

The resolution was backed by delegates from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.

"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 crosshairs."

It's not obesity in the crosshairs so much as insurance providers, as Forbes noted:

On Sunday, several doctors who testified at an AMA panel on public health issues said doctors needed to be compensated for treating obesity and a disease classification would help in that regard.

Dr. Virginia Hall, an obstetrician from Hershey, Pa., said the AMA should endorse declaring obesity as a disease so "insurers can stop ducking their responsibility" in paying for treatment of the obese.

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  1. “We felt it’s time to take a stance and say we’re going to identify [obesity] as a disease.”

    Then I suppose that’s a *wide* stance.

    1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link, http://www.Bling6.com

  2. Nannyism is a disease.

    1. Take a stance, dammit!

  3. “we really need to … put it in our crosshairs.”

    What does this violent expression even mean in this context?

    1. Obviously the AMA is encouraging gun violence. The blood of the victims of the next mass shooting is on your hands, AMA.

  4. That’s totally scientific how they voted on whether or not something’s a disease.

    1. “It’s a consensus!”

    2. “Dr. Virginia Hall, an obstetrician from Hershey, Pa., said the AMA should endorse declaring obesity as a disease so “insurers can stop ducking their responsibility” in paying for treatment of the obese.”

      If by that you mean “self-serving”, you are correct.

      1. Shorter AMA: “MOAR MONEY FOR US!!!”

  5. I’m surprised they did this. If insurers pay for gastric bypass surgeries and we “cure” obesity, then type 2 diabetes rates will plummet and there goes a huge (no pun intended) industry. Not to mention the industry that caters to overlarge appliances (wheelchairs, scooters, oversized hospital equipment, etc).

    1. Not to mention the industry that caters to overlarge appliances (wheelchairs, scooters, oversized hospital equipment, etc).

      Who will be left to advertise on daytime TV?

    2. If insurers pay for gastric bypass surgeries and we “cure” obesity,

      There’s a rather compelling argument that the most effective part of gastric bypass is the low carb diet they have to follow afterward. Even after “returning to normal eating,” they recommend avoiding popcorn, dried fruit, sodas, granola, corn and bread.

  6. Ugliness is a disease. Minority status is a disease. Gun ownership is a disease.

    1. Correct, because they all can be cured.

      1. Small tits are a disease.

        1. “I see diseased people everywhere!”

        2. We can’t all win Proust-summary competitions.

    2. They have rendered the word disease meaningless.

      1. Actually that was a dumb thing to say. I retract that. They have redefined it to mean ‘something we want to force insurance companies to pay for’.

        1. Being a female is a disease.

    3. Sounds like you got a case of the “bitter-clingy-itis.” Don’t worry, a drone is en route with your pre/proscription.

  7. ban burger world

  8. “You’re a disease, and I’m the cure.”
    -Cobra

  9. Well there goes the use of the word ‘disease’ for anything meaningful.

    1. Life is a disease. Death is the cure.

    2. That happened when alcoholism was deemed a disease.

    3. It’s been a long time since that ship sailed.

  10. I wonder if the new classification will allow people to more easily file for disability due to obesity? New voting demographic!!

  11. I see no reason why not. It is a big problem in this country and is one of the big reasons for the increase in medical costs. Alcoholism is considered a disease, i see no reason why obesity should not be.

    1. Can’t tell if serious.

    2. Libertarianism is a disease.

      1. If Warty or Epi are the cure, I think I’ll pass.

        1. Episiarch’s a symptom, like pus. Not sure what the Warty analogy is. Maybe a cure that kills you?

          1. Warty is chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, so… yes. Or that glowy green shit they give you when you get one of those really nasty parasites from the tropics.

  12. A blue bear should be sharing that buffet.

  13. Wow, these liberals never end in their way on the English language. A disease has always been considered as a bodily problem caused by bodily malfunctions or infections. Malnutrition is not a disease. Getting your leg chopped off is not a disease. And neurological diseases have to have a neurological root, autism is a disease, violence is not.

    1. “Wow, these liberals never end in their way on the English language.”

      That English language of which you have such an outstanding command?

    2. Who said the AMA was liberal? I mean, considering their love of government force to guarantee them outrageous salaries, I’m sure they must be progressives.

      But you were the first one to bring it up.

  14. The consensus in yesterday’s thread was that control would win out over truth. This is officially unsurprising.

  15. You can’t have my fat vaccine.

  16. Dr. Virginia Hall, an obstetrician from Hershey, Pa.….

    Following the money on this one shouldn’t be too difficult. Something tells me my Obamacare tax dollars are going to be buying medical Mr. Goodbars for recovering chocoholics.

  17. We felt it’s time to take a stance and say we’re going to identify [obesity] as a disease.”
    I didn’t think science and the study of diseases had a “social justice” squad, it’s the ultimate in making the world fit what liberals want, not what the science says.

  18. “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 crosshairs.”

    Eliminationist rhetoric! Report them to the government!

  19. Are they going to call pathological altruism a disease?

  20. “The vote — approved by roughly 60% of the AMA’s full House”

    Three out of five doctors agree!

    Given the insurance angle, I’m surprised it wasn’t five out of five.

    1. No, there are quite a few of us that actually have principles and whatnot.

  21. At this epoch is the final prophecy of Denis Leary come to be — abjure your manhood and despair!

  22. Obesity is an obvious symptom of underlying disease, typically from malnutrition.

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