Obesity: The Overnight Epidemic

On Tuesday, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially declared obesity as a disease. Although other groups have previously identified obesity as a disease, having the AMA do so will hopefully change the way this condition is confronted.

What is Obesity?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, as obese. BMI is calculated using a person’s height and weight. The link below will calculate your BMI for you.

Click Here to Calculate your BMI

In the United States, over 33% of people fall into the “obese” category. To put this into perspective, this means roughly 110 million people can now be diagnosed with this “new” disease.

In the past ten years, obesity rates have increased 50%. Many experts believe at this current rate more than 42% of the U.S. population will be considered obese by 2030. Actions need to be taken today to improve the quality of life for these people.

Solutions?

The hope with the AMA finally recognizing obesity as a disease is that actions will now be taken to reduce the prevalence.

The Obesity Action Coalition has been working on the passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013. This act would offers healthcare workers tools to reduce obesity, including weight-loss counseling for patients and new medicines for weight management. The act also advocates more research and outreach programs.

Achieving a healthy weight includes a well-balanced diet and regular exercising.

Check back every week for more tips and tricks to live healthier lifestyle!

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, June 4). Overweight and Obesity. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/index.html

Obesity Action Coalition. (2013). Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013. Retrieved from http://www.obesityaction.org/treat-and-reduce-obesity-act

Wilson, J. (2013, June 19). Physicians group labels obesity as a disease. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/health/ama-obesity-disease-change/index.html

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3 thoughts on “Obesity: The Overnight Epidemic

  1. Superb post, Becky! I am glad to see that obesity is now recognized as a disease. I am hoping that there will be more resources available through insurance such as weight-loss programs (like Weight Watchers, which has always been out of pocket). It would also be good to look at any underlying mental health issues that may lead to the obesity. More often than not, there is a mental health issue at the core that leads to overeating. Hopefully there will be more referrals to mental health providers and doctors for weight management!!

  2. It’s about time! The obesity epedemic is only going to get worse if nobody does anything!! I’m sure it is going to take a long time for them to really make much-needed changes that will help change the American diet. I would love to see more regulations on food advertising. It would be wonderful if we would start seeing as many commercials/advertisements for apples, pears, carrots, etc and fewer ads for fast food companies, cookies, and chips.

  3. Combating obesity and weight management in general is such a daunting task in the upcoming future. It is great that the AMA now is recognizing it as a disease, because the public need some serious help! Now that it is considered a disease it can really change how the medical community views and takes control of the issue. Most importantly I believe this helps physicians who have felt discomfort when raising questions of obesity to their obese patients. Now physicians have an obligation to confront, diagnose , and treat obesity.

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