The American Medical Association (AMA) will now recognize obesity as a disease, in the hopes that this classification will change the way the medical community views and treats the complex condition. Ideally, the beneficial results would include de-stigmatization and insurance companies’ inclusion of treatment costs.
However, there may also be unintended consequences of considering obesity a disease. While it may encourage awareness and understanding, it could also foster a feeling of helplessness in patients, or convince doctors and patients alike that the only solution is costly professional help. Additionally, the over-simplified classification doesn’t take into account the various levels and causes of obesity. Time explores the current trend of medicalizing conditions, along with its benefits and its drawbacks.