Obesity is a disease in the US. Should it be?

he decision came at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA). Though a committee of experts recommended against classifying obesity as a disease, the association’s delegates voted to approve the change.
And at a stroke, a third of the US population became diseased.
The immediate repercussions of the vote are not clear – while insurance companies may now be more inclined to cover obesity prevention and treatments, they are under no obligation to do so.
AMA president Ardis Hoven says the new designation will increase the focus on obesity treatment and prevention, and in doing so help medical professionals deal with the increasingly complex health problems associated with being overweight or obese.
Though obesity has been a health issue in the public eye for decades, doctors are not always equipped or prepared to help patients treat and prevent obesity-related illnesses.
Hoven says the vote will encourage doctors to change that, and will provide more training and education for both doctors and patients.
"When we are sitting in the examining room and talking about things to prevent weight gain and promote weight loss, what this is going to enable us to do is put together tools and teaching and education around better ways to impact patient responsiveness around our concerns about their obesity," she says.
For Americans who went to bed feeling fine and woke up with a disease, the new designation is alarming.
"Pretty uniformly people are not real happy about it," says Lesley Kinzel, senior editor at the website XOJane.com and author of Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body.
Soon after the announcement of the decision, the hashtag #IAmNotADisease became popular on Twitter for those wishing to express their dismay with the decision.
Kinzel says that many fat people already have trouble accessing proper healthcare, because their ailments are not taken seriously except as an extension of their weight.
"You might go to the doctor with a twisted ankle or a head cold and be told you need to lose weight, which doesn’t help with the twisted ankle or the head cold," she says.