AMA Recognizes Obesity as a Disease

The Burden of Obesity

06.27.13 | By Preet Bilinski

Recently the American Medial Association endorsed recognizing obesity as a disease. The U.S. obesity rate increased almost 50 percent between 1997 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Today, nearly 30 percent of American adults are considered obese, and the problem is almost as prevalent in kids. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, the CDC says.

Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. In fact, obesity has been linked to almost every chronic disease in some way or another. For example obesity can lead to numerous heart complications such as coronary heart disease, heart failure and sudden death because of their impact on the cardiovascular system.

A new PhRMA report that shows 215 medicines in development for heart disease and stroke offers hope. The medicines in the pipeline represent new scientific approaches to treating and preventing heart disease and stroke and emphasizes how innovative medicines can be a vital part of the solution to public health challenges. The medicines in the pipeline hold the potential to deliver new treatment options to patients and physicians to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular disease. You can usually lose weight through dietary changes, increased physical activity and behavior changes. And, prescription medications may be options to delay or prevent health problems.



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