After years of mixed opinions on the subject, the American Medical Association declared obesity a disease last week.
- A person with a BMI of 30+ will now be classified as obese
- Numerous studies link obesity to chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
- Obesity is a growing problem: childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. (CDC)
- Obesity is preventable by lifestyle modification.
How Does This Affect Healthcare?
As a result of this declaration, it is now a physician’s duty to diagnose and treat obesity just like any other disease. People with BMIs over 30, which consists statistically of more than one third of adults and 17% of children (L.A. Times), can now be classified as obese and treated accordingly. This new declaration will even the playing ground for private insurance companies whose benefits vary for bariatric surgeries and other treatments.
Ideally, this program will help bring up the uncomfortable topic of weight between a patient and physician earlier, as studies have found that most obese patients have never been told that their weight is a concern by their physician.
We’re willing to bet that this declaration will create more incentive for drug companies to develop and market new weight loss medications, moving the focus from a healthy diet and exercise routine to focusing on these types of drug treatments.
What can you do?
Since obesity is preventable and treatable without drugs that often have unhealthy side effects, the best way to combat it is to make healthy lifestyle choices, focusing on a primarily plant-based, low fat diet with adequate exercise. If you have children, this means helping them form good habits at a young age.
We’re hearing from customers eating our new line of TeeChia Super Seeds Cereal that it helps them control their appetite all morning long and sets them up for balanced energy the rest of the day. Whatever you choose to eat for breakfast, make sure it’s nutrient-dense and keeps you satisfied all morning long. A bit of time spent thinking ahead about lunch and dinner, will help you prepare healthy meals ahead of time to avoid the temptation for snacks or fast foods.