Debate Club

Recognizing Obesity as a Disease Will Enable Better Treatment

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One in three American adults is obese, and the rate of obesity in children has nearly tripled over the past 30 years. Experts have warned that kids today may be first generation in history to live shorter lives than their parents. Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex health issue.

[See a collection of political cartoons on health care.]

Obesity is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which impact millions of people, and the American Medical Association is already working to reduce the incidence of these diseases through our new strategic effort to improve health outcomes for patients. While diet and exercise are certainly important, a variety of things contribute to obesity, including genetic, hormonal and environmental factors.

Recognizing obesity as a disease will spur new interventions and treatments for patients and encourage greater dialogue between patients and their doctors about which behavioral, medicinal or surgical options may be right for them.

Rapidly rising obesity rates have led to a decrease in health and wellness and an increase in costs for treating obesity-related illnesses. We must address this juxtaposition if we aim to improve the health of our nation and enable a better health care system.

Ardis D. Hoven

About Ardis D. Hoven President of the American Medical Association

Tags
health
obesity

Other Arguments

#1
113 Pts
People Can Be Obese But Healthy

No – People Can Be Obese But Healthy

Abigail Saguy Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Sociology at UCLA

#2
76 Pts
How I Went From Fat and Healthy to Diseased Overnight

No – How I Went From Fat and Healthy to Diseased Overnight

Peggy Howell Public Relations Director for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance

#3
-15 Pts
Calling Obesity a Disease Decreases Incentives to Eat Healthier

No – Calling Obesity a Disease Decreases Incentives to Eat Healthier

Hank Cardello Director of the Hudson Institute's Obesity Solutions Initiative

#4
-30 Pts
Call Obesity What It Is: a Disease

Yes – Call Obesity What It Is: a Disease

Ted Kyle Advocacy Chair of The Obesity Society.

#5
-36 Pts
Like Alcoholism and Mental Illness, Obesity is a Disease

Yes – Like Alcoholism and Mental Illness, Obesity is a Disease

Joe Nadglowski President and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition

#7
-42 Pts
Calling Obesity a Disease Helps Us Become a Healthier Country

Yes – Calling Obesity a Disease Helps Us Become a Healthier Country

Ron Kind , Tom Carper , Lisa Murkowski , Bill Cassidy Sponsors of a bipartisan, bicameral bill taking new steps in the fight against obesity

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