I read the AMA's decision at several levels. First, it's an admission that as a nation we're losing the "war against obesity." Second, as several of the previous posts have stated, it portrays obesity as a disease, to be cured through the usual methods of modern western medicine. Expect an expensive search for a magic bullet "cure" for obesity (think cancer) with lots of celebrity and public fundraisers (think cancer again. I wonder what color ribbon they will pick), mixed with lots of traditional diet and exercise advice. Third, also as previously noted, this misses the base causes for obesity, which to me seem to be: outdated/wrongheaded dietary advice; generally poor cultural eating habits; and an industrial food production/distribution system which makes eating healthily very hard even for those with sufficient knowledge and resources and almost impossible for the majority of the populace which lacks these assets. So - while the additional attention that doctors will have to give to this is a plus, unless, as Birgit and Woubbie have just posted, we change our basic paradigms about how we understand the connection between nutrition, diet, and health, I fear we won't make much progress. One silver lining is that the increased costs to insurance companies might drive market forces to find more effective solutions, including "alternative" approaches to diet/nutrition?
5-K: 22:49 (2007)
10-K: 46:50 (2012)
8-mile trail run (2013): 1:19:26
Half-Marathon: 1:49:28 (2013)