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science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

The American Medical Association (AMA) classified obesity as a disease in June 2013. This was controversial. Supporters cited the overwhelming difficulty in getting people to lose weight and the link between obesity and diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis and decreased longevity. Ninety-five percent of people who go on weight-loss diets regain the weight within one year. Opponents say that the AMA’s action gives people an excuse to eat more and exercise less. Declaring obesity a disease will give physicians a financial incentive to do something about the problem. For example, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable or treatable through regular physical activity and healthy diet. However, physicians are not compensated for initiating preventive programs. The AMA’s position allows physician compensation for weight-loss treatments involving exercise and dietary counseling. (Current Sports Medicine Reports, 13: 205-206)