AMA names obesity as a disease - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

AMA names obesity as a disease

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The American Medical Association has officially designated obesity as a disease.  

* One third of Americans are obese.

* One third are overweight

* Complex issue

There are a couple of sides to this issue.

We talked to Chelsea Arner, Fitness Coordinator, Green Ridge Rec Center in Roanoke County who believes the classification may cause people to be less proactive about making a difference in their weight

She agrees more needs to be done saying, "I do think it would be good if insurance maybe would help those people that are that 35 pounds or over weight to pay for gym memberships or personal trainers.

We also checked in with Doctor John Moore, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at VTC Medical School.  He thinks it will help because it takes some of the stigma away from obese people.

Dr. Moore explains, "Right now there are a lot of Americans who feel obesity is more of a character failing, that if you just eat less and exercise more you will lose weight.  That is really too simplistic as we are coming out with more research we are finding that it is a lot more complicated.  There are a lot of hormonal issues and some fat cells metabolize things differently and secrete hormones differently.  It is a lot more than simply eating less."

Dr. Moore hopes the new classification will help change people's mindsets and he thinks more doctors will pay attention to the issue and that  people will end up with more insurance coverage to help out with getting healthier.

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