Is Obesity A Disease?
Since so many Americans are obese, you would think access to care for these individuals would increase. After all, one in every three Americans is obese and the condition has reached the point of an epidemic. Increasing the access this growing group of people has to proper health care – including insurance coverage for procedures such as gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding – is essential for solving the problem. Fortunately, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently classified obesity as a disease – a classification we consider to be a great step in the right direction for healthcare in this country.
However, we are disappointed with the response that has come from the AMA’s new classification. At DFW Bariatric Institute, we hoped this change would lower the barriers to the health care these people require to treat what I truly believe to be a disease entity, though as of right now, I have not seen any positive impact occur. So far, classifying obesity as a disease has not really improved people’s abilities to pursue seeing dietitians, family practice doctors, and even bariatric surgeons under their insurance providers. Considering this reality, the victory of finally terming obesity for what it is – a disease that requires proper medical attention – is a sort of hollow victory. However, It is a beginning, and we are glad that this important first step has finally happened.
If you would like more information on surgical weight loss treatments, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please contact our office today.