One in three Americans is considered obese, which is a growing epidemic in this country.
The American Medical Association now officially recognizes obesity as a disease, a move that could induce physicians to pay more attention to the condition and spur more insurers to pay for treatments.
One reason for the change is that it would reduce the stigma of obesity that stems from the widespread perception that it is simply the result of eating too much or exercising too little.
Some doctors say that people do not have full control over their weight.
Those against the new classification say it could lead to defining a large population as ill, who then would become dependent on drugs and surgery rather than lifestyle changes.
Doctors can still decide how they want to treat patients who are obese on an individual basis.
WANT MORE LOCAL NEWS?
Get daily news headlines delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!