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Health Watch: AMA Classifies Obesity as a Disease

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Dana Neeman has lost 100 pounds after weight loss surgery andwants to lose another hundred.

"I've been overweight my entire life I've always joked Iwas born overweight. I was born 10 lbs 4 ounces," she says.

Obesity affects one out of every three American adults.

Now, the American Medical Association is recognizing obesityas a disease.

The new distinction could lead to new interventions andpreventive measures.

The medical costs of obesity in the U.S. states total about150 billion dollars annually

Dr. Shawn Garber directs the New York Bariatric Group.

"Now with the AMA decision, insurance companies willcover weight loss surgery, maybe insurance companies start coveringnutritionists, counseling and medical weight loss programs," he says.

This wheel calculates a person's Body Mass Index which is ameasurement of body fat based on height and weight.

A BMI score of 30 and more is considered obese.

Obesity is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes andcertain cancers.

Not everyone thinks it should be classified as a disease.

But Dana Neeman says the new distinction is the right one.

"Obviously it's not all a lifestyle if I've tried andtried and tried to lose weight and was unsuccessful, you know, there'ssomething predisposed inside of me genetically that obviously plays a part,"she says.

She hopes the new classification with help obese people stopfeeling like outcasts and start changing their lives.