Last updated on: 6/3/2014 | Author:

American Medical Association (AMA) Biography

to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"

“Whereas, Our American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health Report 4, A-05, has identified the following common criteria in defining a disease: 1) an impairment of the normal functioning of some aspect of the body; 2) characteristic signs or symptoms; and 3) harm or morbidity…

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association recognize obesity as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.”

American Medical Association House of Delegates, “Recognition of Obesity as a Disease,”, May 16, 2013

[Editor’s Note: Prior to the May 16, 2013 statement “Recognition of Obesity as a Disease,” the American Medical Association had a “Not Clearly Pro or Con” position expressed in its Policy H-150.953. This AMA policy from 1999 referred to obesity as a “disorder”, and it had been re-affirmed several times including in 2013. The policy stated in part: “Our AMA will: (1) urge physicians as well as managed care organizations and other third party payers to recognize obesity as a complex disorder involving appetite regulation and energy metabolism that is associated with a variety of comorbid conditions.”]

American Medical Association, “Recognition of Obesity as a Disease,”, June 19, 2013


“As the nation’s health care system continues to evolve, the AMA is dedicated to ensuring sustainable physician practices that result in better health outcomes for patients. This work is captured in the AMA’s five-year strategic plan, which aims to ensure that enhancements to health care in the United States are physician-led, advance the physician-patient relationship, and ensure that health care costs can be prudently managed.

The AMA’s plan emphasizes three core areas of focus:

–Improving health outcomes
–Accelerating change in medical education
–Professional satisfaction and practice sustainability.”

“Strategic Focus,” (accessed May 5, 2014)


“To promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.”

“AMA Mission & Guiding Principles,” (accessed May 5, 2014)

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Pro & Con Quotes: Is Obesity a Disease?