Leaders of The Obesity Society, Silver Spring, Md., have updated the scientific nonprofit's 2008 position statement on obesity. The report classifies obesity as a worldwide, noncommunicable chronic disease.
"The science of obesity has advanced over the past decade, leading us to affirm, update, and strengthen our position on obesity as a disease that afflicts all age groups," says Pres. Steven B. Heymsfield, professor and director of the Metabolism and Body Composition Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La.
Adds Vice Pres. Cathy Kotz, professor and director of Graduate Studies at the University of Minnesota's Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, Minneapolis: "Obesity meets all criteria for being a disease, and therefore should be characterized as such. This recognition impacts how individuals are viewed and should reduce the stigma associated with it. The statement is needed so that the public and policymakers can make informed decisions regarding the health care surrounding obesity."
"Obesity should be treated with the same rigor, persistence, and dedication as any other chronic disease--with steadfast care and compassion for each individual patient and inclusive insurance coverage for comprehensive obesity treatment," stresses Ania Jastreboff, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
The report's authors take the position that obesity is a multi-causal chronic disease recognized across the lifespan resulting from long-term, positive, energy imbalance with development of excess adiposity that, over time...