Calling Obesity A Disease: Is This About Health Or Is It About Money?

William Anderson | Huffington Post | July 9, 2013

In case you've been on vacation the last month and incommunicado, the New York Times on June 18 reported that the AMA has officially declared that obesity is a disease, not just a physical condition. Since then, the media, the Internet and the medical community have erupted in a frenzy of stories and opinions. Is it or is it not a disease? What is the right way to define obesity? Those are two of the issues. But the really big issue is money. Is classifying obesity as a disease about health, or is it really all about money?

"I'm okay with it," said Timothy Church, director of preventive medicine research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. "If that's what it's going to take to get reimbursement for treatments." Source: Boston Globe.

"If calling obesity a disease will coax insurance companies into providing proper coverage, then I'm all for it," said Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital. "Until insurance companies move towards reimbursement, I don't think we'll make much headway." Source Boston Globe.