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AMA calls obesity a disease, calls for advances in treatment and prevention

June 19, 2013
by Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief
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On the second day of its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association adopted a policy statement that recognizes obesity as a disease that, according to an AMA statement, requires “a range of medical interventions to advance … treatment and prevention.”

“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” said AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D. “The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”

Consumers of mental health services are considered particularly vulnerable to obesity and its complications due to financial problems, poor diet, and social isolation, as well as to metabolic changes associated with the use of some antipsychotic medications. On average, Americans with serious mental health problems die an average of 25 years sooner than other Americans as a result. 

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