The American Medical Association (AMA) confirmed last week that it will join the World Health Organization in recognizing obesity as a disease. Before the vote, the AMA’s Council on Science and Public Health said that the new distinction “could result in greater investments by government and the private sector to develop and reimburse obesity treatments.”
The number of individuals diagnosed with obesity is growing continuously. Obesity rates have doubled among adults in the last twenty years and tripled among children in a one generation. According to the most recent statistics, 66% of American adults are overweight or obese, with 1 in 3 adults meeting the criteria for obesity.
Obesity has been related to many common diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes. There is no distinct reason for obesity. Medical illnesses and drug treatments can also result in obesity. Occurrence of obesity is found to be more common among those of lower socioeconomic and certain minority populations.
Treatment of obesity is very challenging. Most diet plans are not effective and lack long-term success. Countless weight loss drugs have been removed from the market because of their substantial adverse effects.
Bariatric or weight loss surgery has shown some success in management of obesity in the past years, and the number of individuals undertaking this variety of surgery have increased almost 50% from 2000 to 2005.
According to research, obesity associated health expenditures were estimated to be $147 billion in 2008.
In middle-age men, treatment of common obesity-linked conditions stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high blood cholesterol levels resulted in roughly $9,000 to $17,000 higher costs compared to normal-weight adults.
Youth who are overweight or obese have noticeably higher odds of remaining overweight or obese into adulthood.
Globally, an estimated 43 million children under age 5 were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since 1990.
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