Obesity officially labeled as 'disease' by American Medical Asso - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Obesity officially labeled as 'disease' by American Medical Association

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

In the last 15 years, the obesity rate has increased 50% in the United States.

As a result, the American Medical Association voted Tuesday night to officially identify obesity as a disease.

The AMA said research indicates that without change, half of the US population will qualify as obese by 2040.

The group's report said the problem has become so large, it now requires the medical care, research and education of other major diseases.

"It's going to have to be a intense focus on research," said UT Health Northeast Doctor David Shafer. "The same focus that we put on heart disease, breast cancer and cancer in general."

While obesity itself is not a killer, its consequences include killers like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Insurance companies are already taking note.

"They're well aware that overweight people cost them more money," Shafer said. "So they have already started making this push, as had Medicare. They realized that this country, that all of us cannot afford the consequences of obesity."

Experts also warn that the new label doesn't mean there will soon be a magic cure.

"When it is labeled as a disease, people assume that there's going to be a pill to fix that," said ETMC Olympic Center Exercise Specialist Cassie Ebert. "So far that has not happened."

"There aren't remarkably effective treatments out there available," Shafer said. "So the personal responsibility aspect of it is going to be very important."

While surgery does help some of the most extreme cases, exercise will remain a vital part of being healthy.

The exercise route helps with all kinds of other things," said Ebert. Medical "Weight loss doesn't necessarily reduce those risk factors."

The group said their focus is on prevention, hoping to stop the issue from becoming a larger problem.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Tyler man found shot in vehicle; police searching for suspect

    Tyler man found shot in vehicle; police searching for suspect

    Friday, July 21 2017 7:35 AM EDT2017-07-21 11:35:47 GMT

    Tyler police are searching for a suspect after a man was found in his vehicle with a gunshot wound.

    More >>

    Tyler police are searching for a suspect after a man was found in his vehicle with a gunshot wound.

    More >>
  • Day 3 of Troup Murder Trial: Scales takes the stand

    Day 3 of Troup Murder Trial: Scales takes the stand

    Thursday, July 20 2017 10:01 PM EDT2017-07-21 02:01:06 GMT
    The defendant, Joshua Scales, takes the stand to testify today in the Smith County Courthouse.The defendant, Joshua Scales, takes the stand to testify today in the Smith County Courthouse.

    On Thursday, Joshua Scales, an East Texas man charged with murder, took the stand to testify on day three of the trial. Joshua Scales is on trial for the summer 2016 murder of Jordan Ladue in Troup. 

    More >>

    On Thursday, Joshua Scales, an East Texas man charged with murder, took the stand to testify on day three of the trial. Joshua Scales is on trial for the summer 2016 murder of Jordan Ladue in Troup. 

    More >>
  • SFA picked sixth in preseason poll; Jacks take part in SLC Media Day

    SFA picked sixth in preseason poll; Jacks take part in SLC Media Day

    Thursday, July 20 2017 8:25 PM EDT2017-07-21 00:25:09 GMT
    SFA football picked ot finish sixth in the SLC.SFA football picked ot finish sixth in the SLC.

    With the beginning of Stephen F. Austin's 91st season of football rapidly approaching, head coach Clint Conque, junior defensive lineman Lamont Alexander and sophomore wide receiver Tamrick Pace completed the first official football event of the year by taking part in the 2017 Southland Conference Football Media Day at Hilton Americas in Houston.  After learning they were picked to finish sixth in the 2017 Southland Conference preseason poll...

    More >>

    With the beginning of Stephen F. Austin's 91st season of football rapidly approaching, head coach Clint Conque, junior defensive lineman Lamont Alexander and sophomore wide receiver Tamrick Pace completed the first official football event of the year by taking part in the 2017 Southland Conference Football Media Day at Hilton Americas in Houston.  After learning they were picked to finish sixth in the 2017 Southland Conference preseason poll...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly