Obesity as a Disease


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KIMT News 3 – Obesity is a concern for many Americans today and officials say, it’s time for a change.

The L.A. Times reports that the American Medical Association has officially declared obesity a disease.

One third of all Americans suffers from obesity today and the hope is that the news can force the condition to be taken more seriously by others.

For Michelle Sorenson, the idea of highlighting the issue in this way is long overdue, but it doesn’t mean less work.

“Even though it’s now something that classified as a disease, it’s not gonna go away overnight and it’s not a one time fix cure. It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort. You can’t just sit around and hope that it goes away,” said Sorenson.

Doctors agree, while there are drugs available to treat those severely overweight, they’re not always the safest option.

“They haven’t come out with a lot of new pills. In the future they may come out with something that’s safe but I think it’s safer for patients if they’re able to diet and exercise on their own,” said Doctor Stan Hahn, Bariatric Surgeon with Mercy Bariatric Center.

Jacque Petersen of Mason City says she understands why obesity is taken more seriously especially when it affects the youngest Americans

“Obesity in our youth is very big now and they are having a lot of programs now. We’re doing a lot of youth programming on getting kids more active in our community,” said Petersen.

While this effort doesn’t surprise Doctor Hahn, he says it’s more about getting everyone on the same page.

“I think the AMA is trying to say that they are taking this obesity epidemic seriously and they want everyone involved,” said Hahn.

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