The American Medical Association (AMA) has recently labeled obesity a disease and not a risk factor for other diseases. This will change how doctors, insurance carriers, and America as a whole, on how we view obesity. Simply put, it is no longer a cosmetic factor, it is a serious problem that many Americans need to heed. However, before we delve into this here are a few facts about obesity:
- Body mass index (BMI) is the most commonly metric for obesity.
- Body mass index is calculated from an individual’s body mass divided by the square of their height.
- People are considered overweight if their BMI is between 25 and 29.9.
- People are obese when their BMI is over 30.
- Individuals who have high BMIs are at an increased risk for many diseases and health conditions which include: hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, and many others.
- Roughly 1/3 of Adults are considered obese by AMA standards
- In addition to this, 1/3 of children and teens are overweight are obese.
Everyone has heard of James Gandolfini’s (Tony Soprano) recently sudden death. However, it was possible that the heart attack that caused his death could be highly related to his BMI. With this recently reclassification of obesity, we mentioned that America as a whole may change how it views obesity. The AMA is also hopeful that physicians will begin aggressively treating obesity in America and help reduce the burden on America’s health system.
There are some individuals who oppose the reclassification stating that some individuals may be obese but health at the same time. There are also individuals that the reclassification say that it strengthens the stigmatism against obesity.
However proponents for this reclassification do not see this in the same light. Some state that it will bring to light the complexities of the problem that is obesity and that experts will be able to better analyze the situation at hand. It will also help individuals manage their weight which can help improve both fiscal and physical health.
It is important to note that obesity related illnesses cost the US more than $150 billion in the past fiscal year and over the next 20 years it could rise an additional $550 billion according to a recent Duke University study. The important take away message here is that obesity is an important issue for the USA no matter what the classification it is.