It’s official — obesity is a disease. The American Medical Association classified it as a disease in an attempt to focus more attention on America’s weight problem, according to Health.
Experts hope the label will draw greater attention from doctors so that they change the way treatment is approached as well as that it will increase insurance coverage for treatments. Treatment for obesity includes medications, nutrition counseling, and sometimes surgery.
“We already treat obesity as a chronic illness,” says Dr. Esa Matius Davis, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “But this decision will bring more resources into the picture because it will, hopefully, allow for more insurance coverage and that really has been the issue of getting people the help that they need.”
Many patients diagnosed with obesity can’t get the treatment they need because the cost is too prohibitive and they often aren’t reimbursed by insurance companies.