AMA designates obesity as a disease: What does this mean for Americans?
Obesity levels continue to increase at alarming rates. Approximately one third of American adults are affected by obesity and another one third are affected by overweight. Despite the fact that roughly 45 million Americans diet each year, the prevalence of obesity in this country has more than doubled among adults in the last 30 years. Without successful intervention, it’s estimated that half of the U.S. adult population could be impacted by obesity by 2030, presenting major consequences to our nation’s health.
Losing weight and maintaining it is a long-term commitment. Here’s some advice to help you with your weight loss.
• Every step counts – walk a few laps around the office instead of sitting at your desk all day.
• Eat in – home-cooked meals may be healthier than most restaurant meal choices in the U.S.
• Talk to your doctor- to identify a weight loss plan that fits your lifestyle.
• Consider your options – diet, exercise and prescription weight loss medications may help.
To help combat this, the American Medical Association (AMA), recently voted to adopt a policy recognizing obesity as a disease, requiring a range of medical interventions to advance treatment and prevention.
“Changing the way we label obesity from a major public health problem to a chronic disease may help encourage more proactive discussions between physicians and patients,” says Holly Lofton, M.D., Director of the Medical Weight Management Program at New York University Langone Medical Center. “Patients struggling with obesity, who are motivated to lose weight but have been unsuccessful with diet and exercise alone, should discuss a range of medical interventions with their physician including prescription weight loss medications, to help them lose weight and maintain it.”
Individuals living with obesity should not feel alone or overwhelmed when trying to lose weight. Modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight, is associated with improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
For more information on how to talk with your healthcare provider about losing weight, visit www.ObesityAction.org.
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