Obesity a disease: What will it mean for Americans? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Obesity a disease: What will it mean for Americans?

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Now that obesity has been officially classified as a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA), many are wondering how this will affect the 35.7 percent of Americans who are described as obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Will this decision help facilitate better treatments for people who are currently obese? And will this new classification help combat the country's growing obesity epidemic? Dr. Leena Khaitan, director of the bariatric surgery program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, hopes the answers to those questions will be, ‘Yes.'

"Right now, physicians will treat high blood pressure, diabetes, give patients medications and say, ‘Oh you also need to lose weight,'" Khaitan told FoxNews.com. "I think (this) gives the physicians a little more credibility in pushing patients to address obesity and become healthier. It's recognized as a disease…not just something that (because) you have poor lifestyle habits, this is your problem."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/19/obesity-as-disease-what-does-it-mean-for-americans

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