The AMA Says Obesity is a Disease. We Say, in Huffington Post, It’s Prevention Time
Last month the American Medical Association decided that obesity should be considered a disease. So how should advocates for prevention and public health respond? And what steps should policymakers take?
In his latest blog for the Huffington Post, Prevention Institute’s Larry Cohen reminds us that the roots of diet-related conditions begin long before the doctor’s office.
“If Californians want to improve health and drive down medical spending, we need policies that incentivize the growing and marketing of healthy foods. We need transportation policy that encourages people to get out of their cars and walk. And we need regulations that limit junk-food advertising to children, discourage smoking and reduce outdoor pollution and the respiratory diseases it causes. Policy wonks even have a term for this approach—“health in all policies”—and it makes a lot of sense.”
Larry also calls out some of the specific policy changes that are needed and discusses how they can help foster healthier communities and people. He concludes:
“The AMA’s decision to define obesity as a disease has brought needed attention to a crucial public health issue. How we respond will go a long way toward determining our approach to health.”
Go read the whole thing.