At their Annual Meeting in Chicago this week, the AMA (American Medical Association) took an unprecedented step and officially endorsed obesity as a disease. This came as a surprise to many as the vote from the AMA’s House of Delegates went against the Association’s Council on Science and Public Health.
What does that mean? Simply this….It is no longer believed that obesity is a result of bad choices, lifestyle, or a major public health problem. It’s a chronic disease that needs innovative research, treatment, prevention and insurance coverage. The Surgical Specialists of La & MS applaud the AMA’s decision as we understand that obesity is a huge risk factor for other diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and some types of cancer.
About one third of adults in this country are obese and if it continues to grow, about 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030. (A projection from researchers with RTI International, a non-profit organization in North Carolina).
One of the most important aspects of the AMA’s decision is that it is a respected representative of American medicine. While they have no legal authority, their opinion can influence policymakers in Washington and in state capitols across the country who are in a position to support interventions and research to prevent and treat obesity. The Internal Revenue Service has said that obesity treatments can qualify for tax deductions.
Metabolic and bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective and long lasting treatment for morbid obesity and the co-morbidities associated with it. The Surgical Specialists offer all types of laparoscopic weight loss surgery including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding and the duodenal switch. Come hear our surgeons discuss these various options at one of our weekly seminars. Register at www.whyweight.com or call 1-877-691-3001 for more information.