Tuesday, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared obesity a disease. This declaration effectively defines over 100 million people as requiring treatment for obesity.
The AMA, made up of some of the nation’s leading physicians, took to voting after much debate on the cost/benefit of declaring this condition a disease. Would this help more affected patients get treatment, or would it stigmatize a condition with many causes and few fixes?
Tuesday’s vote will likely step up pressure on health insurance companies to reimburse physicians for discussing obesity’s health risks with patients whose BMI exceeds 30. Hopefully, it will also encourage doctors to direct patients to weight-loss programs and to monitor fitness progress.
This decision by the AMA essentially makes diagnosis and treatment of obesity the professional obligation of a physician. This will encourage primary physicians to raise weight concerns with obese patients; a practice that currently brings discomfort to many physicians.
At oBand Centers, we’re very excited to see this public declaration. This news should help many more patients receive the help they need to achieve a healthier lifestyle. It means that, potentially, more people will be able to qualify for special weight-loss treatments under their insurance. Ultimately, the goal is that this will result in more people opting into healthier choices!
If you’re looking for more information on weight loss surgery, and want to explore your options, please contact us today!