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The Obesity Epidemic In The United States

654 words - 3 pages

According to a study done in 2010 by the Center of Disease Control, 33.9% of the United States population was considered obese (“Obesity”). This means that on July 18th last year one in three people in the United States were considered to have a disease by the American Medical Association. This huge decision brought spotlight to the argument of whether obesity should be considered a disease or choice. The biggest reason the AMA decided on making obesity a disease was because it would help patients receive medical treatments for obesity with the insurance companies paying. AMA also looked to find similarities with other diseases to see if obesity matched characteristics of other illnesses. AMA considered obesity as a disease to aid people in becoming healthier.
As the Affordable Health Care Act became implemented earlier this year, defining obesity as a disease would make public and private insurance companies include obesity related medical interventions in their coverage. This would be a short term loss for most insurance companies as 33.9% of the population can now claim for obesity related medical treatments. Yet, in the long term the treatment of obesity will lower the obese population thus decreasing obese related claims. Although the declaration of the AMA does not make it mandatory for insurance companies to cover obesity, it does however influence the FDA and other government entities to support obesity as a disease. According to the CDC and Triangle Institute, “obesity related medical treatments cost almost ten percent of the total medical expenses in the US, totaling about $147 billion”(“Obesity”). Thus, now public funds can be used to support these medical expenses which patients were before paying out of their pockets or had very comprehensive medical insurances.
Furthermore, the Webster dictionary says a disease is “an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant; a condition that prevents the body or mind from...

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