American Medical Association: Obesity is a Disease & a National Problem
June 19, 2013
The American Medical Association (AMA) published a report stating that obesity is not a disease. This classification would necessitate pharmaceutical intervention, treatment and prevention.
However, a team of representatives at the AMA decided that obesity would be called a disease.
Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine said : “The American Medical Association’s recognition that obesity is a disease carries a lot of clout. The most important aspect of the AMA decision is that the AMA is a respected representative of American medicine. Their opinion can influence policy makers who are in a position to do more to support interventions and research to prevent and treat obesity.”
Patrice Harris, member of the AMA board said: “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”
The current obsession with an individual’s body mass index (BMI) is not the only factor when considering whether someone is over-weight or not.
In order for obesity to be considered as disease, a whole host of indicators must be taken into account because “without a single, clear, authoritative, and widely accepted definition of disease, it is difficult to determine conclusively whether or not obesity is a medical disease state. Similarly, a sensitive and clinically practical diagnostic indicator of obesity remains elusive.”
The AMA stated that obesity is a national problem.
John Armstrong, co-sponsor of the report said: “A condition leads to one set of solutions. A disease might lead to another. I would like to move away from the tyranny of ‘Is it a condition or is it a disease?’ and simply define obesity as a chronic disease, combine public health and clinical approaches, and work to bend the weight curve in the U.S.”
Simply being obese does not constitute having a disease, stated delegates at the seminar hosted by the AMA. Yet they were overridden by several board members stating that the patient has a responsibility for driving the cost of healthcare up with their lifestyle choices.
Dr. Barbara McAneny, an AMA board trustee, said: “The AMA is calling on insurers to provide physicians with better tools that can automatically determine a patient’s payment responsibility prior to treatment.”
In 2004, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) changed their position that obesity is not an official disease and that treating it as such would require more research into how the human body processes food and stores it.
Several studies have tried to pin-point the cause of obesity; some to a ludicrous summation.
In the International Journal of Obesity, a new explained that having a C-section “may have something to do with babies missing exposure to positive intestinal bacteria when born through C-section. If that is true, then it will be possible to identify those bacteria and give a dose of them to C-section babies.”
A said : “There’s definitely been enough research now where it does appear there is some connection between these two disorders.”
Castellanos contends that after socioeconomic status and environment were factored in, the obesity still persisted as an obvious link.
Pharmaceutical corporations such as Eli Lily, Shire Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline and Genopham funded the study; along with governmental agencies such as the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); along with the International Outgoing Fellowship (NOF).
Earlier this month a new study published shows that bisphenol-A (BPA) can be linked to causing obesity in pubescent girls.
Taking samples of urine from 1,326 girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 12, researchers discovered that BPA levels were higher in those girls who were over weight. The findings were not show to be true of the boys tested.
Shockingly, as little as 2 micrograms per liter of BPA found in the young gril’s system was twice as likely to cause obesity when compared to girls whose BPA levels were below “normal”.
Dr. Di-Kun Le, lead author of the study and reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, said: “Animal (studies) started to show that BPA can impact metabolic processes, which often leads to obesity and diabetes. So we decided to look at it (in humans).”
Le concluded that because BPA affects the endocrine system, exposure to this chemical is directly contributing to the global obesity issue because BPA “is an endocrine disrupter and acts similarly to the hormone estrogen, which impacts metabolic function.”
Le explained: “Overeating a little won’t cause obesity, but (by) having this kind of endocrine damage without knowing it, and adding more food, the consequences are magnified.”
Findings showed that during puberty, girls were sensitive to the effects of BPA because researchers observed no “significant relationship between BPA and obesity levels in girls older than 12 and boys of all ages.”