Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially recognized obesity as a disease. Before the ruling, the AMA considered obesity a public health issue, but, “by recognizing it as a disease many believe this will change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately 1 in 3 Americans,” said Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member.
While the decision has no immediate legal standing, federal and state policymakers are strongly influenced by AMA’s stances when drafting medial and public health policies. The hope is that new regulations will broaden the types of obesity treatment that are reimbursable by insurance, which will increase the chances that patients will take advantage of them.
Comprehensive Weight Control
Although some physicians worry that categorizing what they consider to be a lifestyle choice as a disease, others believe this will lead to better and more comprehensive patient care. Obesity patients have felt prejudice from physicians when requesting treatment, with some doctors going so far as to say it isn’t their responsibility. The AMA’s decision will now clearly make diagnosis and treatment of obesity a physician’s responsibility. Hopefully, this will also cause a shift in focus to further identifying the causes of obesity and improving treatments.
Here at Blue Sky, MD we have always believed that it is our job to help patients with their weight control. If you are looking for a caring place to put you on the right track, give us a call today.