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Is Obesity a “Disease”? “No,” Says Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity Journal
The American Medical Association recently declared that obesity is a disease, but people can be obese without being sick or diseased, objects David L. Katz, MD, MPH.
Calling obesity a disease gives it legitimacy, and it should now get more much-needed attention in the medical community, including reimbursement for weight management care, says Dr. Katz, Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity. However, he is concerned about the implications and societal bias of viewing children with overweight and obesity as having a disease.
“We treat diseases preferentially with drugs and procedures. We treat them in hospitals and clinics and generally at high cost,” says Dr. Katz. Too often remedies for obesity in adolescents and children focus on medication or bariatric surgery, for example, instead of environmental and preventive strategies. “Clinics can and should treat complications of obesity, but the root causes reside in our culture, and the best remedies need to be directed there. An excessively medical conception of the problem may divert attention and resources away from where they are most needed, and could do the most good.”
Dr. Katz is the author (with Stacey Colino) of the new book “Disease-Proof:
About the Journal
Childhood Obesity is a bimonthly journal, published in print and online, and the journal of record for all aspects of communication on the broad spectrum of issues and strategies related to weight management and obesity prevention in children and adolescents. The Journal includes peer-reviewed articles documenting cutting-edge research and clinical studies, opinion pieces and roundtable discussions, profiles of successful programs and interventions, and updates on task force recommendations, global initiatives, and policy platforms. It reports on news and developments in science and medicine, features programs and initiatives developed in the public and private sector, and includes a Literature Watch. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Childhood Obesity website at http://www.liebertpub.com/
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, Population Health Management, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics (DTT), and Journal of Women’s Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website at http://www.liebertpub.com.
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